Rishi Sunak: 'At Least I Didn’t Slap Anybody'

Chancellor compares himself to Will Smith as he speaks about "upsetting" criticism of his wife.
PAUL ELLIS via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak has compared himself to Will Smith and joked that at least he did not “slap anybody” when people criticised his wife for her links to Russia.

The chancellor said he found attacks on his partner, Akshata Murthy, “very upsetting”.

Questions have been asked about Murthy’s 0.91 per cent stake in Infosys, the technology consulting firm founded by her billionaire father.

It continues to operate in Russia despite Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sunak has urged companies to pull out of the country in order to squeeze the Russian economy.

In an interview with the BBC Newscast podcast on Thursday, Sunak said he had been told both he and Will Smith had not had the “best of weekends”.

“But I feel, on reflection, both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked – at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good,” he said.

Smith caused an uproar after he slapped Chris Rock on stage during the Oscar’s after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Sunak said it was “totally fine” for people to “take shots” at him for how he handled the economy, but said it was “wrong” for his wife to be targeted.

“And you know, beyond that actually, with regard to my father in law, for whom I have nothing but enormous pride and admiration for everything that he’s achieved,” Sunak said.

“No amount of attempted smearing is going to make me change that because he’s wonderful and has achieved a huge amount.”

Labour and the Lib Dems have called for Sunak to declare if he and his family are benefiting financially from Murthy’s investment in Infosys.


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