Rishi has BLOWN it and will NEVER be PM, top Tories admit

Rishi has BLOWN it and will NEVER be PM, top Tories admit

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Rishi Sunak’s popularity reaches net score of -18 say polls

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Mr Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, has now pledged she will pay British taxes on her overseas income, stating that she does not want her “tax status to be a distraction” for her husband. She is reported to own £700million in shares of the IT company Infosys founded by her father and to have received £11.6million in dividend payments last year.

Labour claims her non-domiciled status – which means she would not have to pay UK tax at a rate of 39.35 percent on dividends – could have saved the household “tens of millions of pounds”. Opposition parties are now calling on Ms Murty, who remains an Indian citizen, to pay back taxes she has saved by not having to pay UK taxes on her foreign income.

Her announcement came on the heels of Mr Sunak admitting he continued to hold a US green card – making him a “lawful permanent resident” of the United States – while Chancellor. He returned it in October last year.

A former cabinet minister cast down on whether Mr Sunak will become Prime Minister, saying: “I think he’s blown his chances altogether for the leadership of the party.”

The senior Conservative thought the Chancellor was the victim of a politically-motivated attack, but doubted that anyone in Downing St was responsible.

“I think somebody’s knifed him,” they said. “I think there’s no doubt about that.

“I don’t believe it’s No 10 at all. It’s not subtle enough for an internal job.

“I think it’s probably the Opposition. He thinks it’s the Opposition too.”

Mr Sunak won widespread praise for his delivery of the job-saving furlough scheme during the pandemic but his popularity has been battered since then. Last week pollsters YouGov reported his favourability rating has dropped 24 points in the two weeks since he made his Spring Statement.

Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty

The Prime Minister has defended the Chancellor, saying he is doing an ‘outstanding job’ (Image: Getty)

He has also faced severe internal criticism over his decision to press ahead with the increase in National Insurance contributions to fund the NHS and social care.

The former cabinet minister said this “helped put several nails in his political coffin”.

However, strong support for the Chancellor and his wife came from Jacob Rees-Mogg, the minister for Brexit opportunities.

Writing in his regular “Words of Wisdom” slot in the Sunday Express, he said: “The critics of the Chancellor seem to forget that married women have had control of their own money for 140 years. How odd that the left now screams for a patriarchy.”

Bookmakers Betfair said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is now the favourite to succeed Mr Johnson with odds of 13/2, ahead of Mr Sunak on 7/1 and foreign affairs committee chairman Tom Tugendhat on 8/1.

A Conservative backbencher expressed surprise about the tax arrangements in place in the couple’s household, saying: “I think it’s quite amazing that they decided to do this with his position in politics. Some people live on a different planet to what we do.”

However, another Tory MP condemned political attacks on the family members on MPs when no rules had been broken saying: “Will it be children and grandmothers next? Given that this is someone who completely stuck to the letter of the law and was very transparent with their affairs it’s a case of the politics of envy being weaponised by Keir Starmer.

“all means have a go at politicians, but having a go at someone’s partner is just an utter disgrace, especially when they tread a very careful line of not being in politics themselves.”

Before Ms Murty made the announcement that she would pay UK tax on foreign income, there was strong frustration about the row in Conservative circles.

An MP in a “red wall” seat said MPs were “pretty apoplectic” because “it seems like an unforced error” and pushing for it to be “rectified pronto”.

The Prime Minister has defended the Chancellor, saying he is doing an “outstanding job”.

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