Chancellor Rishi Sunak has come under scrutiny after it emerged his wife Akshata Murty, who is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds, holds non-domiciled status exempting him from paying l tax in Great Britain on foreign income. As the reaction to the news continued, Murty announced on Friday that she would start paying UK tax as she did not want her non-dom status to become a “distraction” for her husband. This morning, BBC Breakfast’s Stayt asked Fletcher why he and others thought the couple had ‘broken the rules’ and asked him to clarify what he meant.
Speaking to Fletcher, who has been a member of the Senedd for the West South Wales region since 2021 and a member of Plaid Cymru, Stayt broached the subject of Sunak and his Murty.
He said: “This is a story that has been circulating for several days now about the Chancellor and indeed his wife and their financial arrangements.
“I know politicians, on the whole, don’t like to talk about other politicians in the sense of their families and all that.
“It’s over there now, can you just be clear what you think the Chancellor and his wife did wrong?”
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“Well, I think you kinda hit it on the head as far as how I feel about it,” Fletcher replied.
“I always try not to bring people’s families and all, but there are questions I think need to be answered about the influence the Chancellor’s wife might have on politics in the UK.
“I mean, it doesn’t surprise me, to be honest, what’s going on, I said at the party, leadership comes from the top.
“And we have another example here where it’s a rule for them and a rule for the rest of us-“
“But they are,” Stayt interrupted, as Fletcher explained, “They are now, but there are questions about what happened before.”
BBC viewers were quick to react to the inquiry, with Twitter user Phil Ray writing: “#BBCBreakfast is just talking to a #PlaidCymru AM and it’s refreshing to see a politician talking on TV like… well, a normal person.”
@TheWordOfCarrie wrote: “Luke Fletcher of Plaid Cymru on #BBCBreakfast is really quite impressive.
“Calm, clear, passionate and taking no ‘but where does the money come from’ bs by Charlie Stayt.”
Hugh Edwards commented: “BBC Breakfast is very good at holding opposition parties to account, not so much the current government.
“Only two ministers have been interviewed all week; Javid and Kwarteng. Not good enough for the BBC. #bbcbreakfast #JohnsonOut75.”
Ash chimed in, “So Mrs. Murthy has decided to pay taxes now that @RishiSunak’s family’s tax cases are public knowledge.
“The tax evasion wasn’t illegal, but it was immoral, so it won’t be forgiven or forgotten. I’d have more respect for them if they also paid taxes retrospectively #BBCBreakfast.”
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.