The specific issue concerns paragraph six of the new Code of Conduct for MPs.
The code, which came into effect last month, states: “Members must always be open and frank in declaring any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its Committees, and in any communications with ministers, members, public officials or public office holders”.
It’s certainly a “life-changing” policy, according to parents, but Ms Murthy just so happens to partly own a childcare agency herself, and stands to benefit from changes announced by Mr Hunt.
In particular, Koru Kids is one of six private agencies being consulted on a pilot scheme announced in the Budget.
The Liaison Committee
This gets even trickier when Mr Sunak was asked about any conflicts of interest which may arise from the budget last month, when he was quizzed by the Liaison Committee made up of select committee chairs.
Labour MP and Petitions Committee chair Catherine McKinnell posed the question, to which Mr Sunak replied: “No, all my disclosures are declared in the normal way.”
Earlier this month, the PM penned a letter to the Liaison Committee further addressing the issue and “some media coverage” surrounding his wife’s “minority stake” in an agency known as Koru Kids.
“I would like to clarify for the parliamentary record that this interest has rightly been declared to the Cabinet Office,” he said.
However, the latest list of ministers’ interests published in May last year sees Mr Sunak declare his wife “owns a venture capital investment company, Catamaran Ventures UK Ltd.” – and that’s it.
Responding to the announcement of the commissioner’s investigation, a No 10 spokeswoman said: “We are happy to assist the commissioner to clarify how this has been transparently declared as a ministerial interest.”
The wider political and online reaction
Once the news was broken about the commissioner’s investigation, Twitter obviously had something to say:
\u201cCatherine McKinnell(Labour MP) asked Rishi Sunak if he had any interests to declare, Liaison committee, over childcare agencies\n\nRishi Sunak - "No, all my disclosures are declared in the normal way."\u201d
\u201cI\u2019ve been waiting for this. I deeply suspect that this isn\u2019t the only pecuniary interest of the former Chancellor, now Prime Minister, that may prove to be somewhat interesting. \ud83d\udc40 https://t.co/kwmLN2hHpn\u201d
\u201cThe Ministerial Code requires all Ministers to disclose their financial interests in detail - the Prime Minister is obliged to publish the register of interests.\n\nIt's now been 321 days since the register was updated. What's Rishi Sunak got to hide?\nhttps://t.co/DQNf6n45VT\u201d
\u201cQuick maths question:\nHow much does my wife stand to gain from the shares she has in the company that benefits from changes announced in my recent budget? Bonus point if you know why I failed to declare this interest to the Standards Committee.\nhttps://t.co/txT7FM8eZk\u201d
\u201cRishi Sunak under investigation by the Sleaze Committee...\nThey can change the face but it's same old Tories.\nVote them out at the earliest opportunity. \nThey've broken Britain. Let other parties start cleaning up the mess.\u201d
\u201cBreaking news \ud83d\udea8: Rishi Sunak is under investigation by parliament\u2019s sleaze watchdog because of a possible failure to declare an interest. \n\nTory sleaze is well and truly back!\u201d
\u201cRemember Rishi Sunak promising to govern with integrity and accountability. \n\nHe's now under investigation by Parliament's standards commissioner over an alleged failure to declare an interest.\n\nTory sleaze is well and truly back!\u201d
\u201cBREAKING: You will be astonished to discover Rishi Sunak is under investigation because he has another conflict of interests that he failed to declare x\u201d
— Laura Kuenssberg beyond parody (@Laura Kuenssberg beyond parody)
And it really hasn’t been the best couple of days for Mr Sunak, after an image went viral yesterday in which the Conservative leader was pictured posing in front of a pub where the sign ‘crooked’ could be seen above him.
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