Rishi Sunak, Britain’s prime ministerial candidate, stated that there was “clearly something” when he met his now wife, Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, at a university in the United States.
In an interview with ‘The Sunday Times,’ the former Chancellor discussed his family life, revealing that one of the secrets to his marriage is that the couple are very different people.
“I’m very tidy, she’s very messy.” “I’m much more organised than she is,” Sunak explained.
“She’s not going to like me saying this, but to be honest, she’s not big on the whole tidying thing.” Rishi Sunakar described her as “a total nightmare, with clothes everywhere… and shoes… oh God shoes.”
The couple married in a two-day ceremony in Bangalore in 2006 after meeting while he was studying for an MBA at Stanford University. Sunak, who was born in Southampton to Indian-origin parents, admits rearranging his Stanford class schedule “to be in a particular class” to sit next to Murty.
“I didn’t need it, but I took it anyway so we could sit next to each other,” he explained.
Rishi Sunak and his wife have two daughters, Krishna, 11, and Anoushka, 9, and he was present at both births and enjoyed assisting with childcare.
“I was very fortunate because when they were born, I ran my own business with others but I was completely in control of my time, so I was very much around,” he recalls. I always say that my parenting sweet spot is zero to three, and I was very fortunate to have the time when they were that age to just be there a lot and do a lot. I enjoyed every minute of it. My arm goes out every time I’m on the campaign trail and see a little baby or something.”
Rishi Sunak’s family moved out of the flat above No. 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in April, following a controversy over Murty’s legal non-domicile tax status, which she later relinquished in order to pay taxes on her income from Infosys shares, also in the UK, to avoid the issue becoming a “distraction” for her husband.
As a contender for the top job, the former finance minister told the newspaper that if he is elected as Conservative Party leader and the next Prime Minister to succeed Boris Johnson on September 5, the family will return to Downing Street.
“The choice had nothing to do with what had occurred. “It was all because our eldest daughter was in her final term of primary school and was supposed to be able to walk to school by herself every day,” he explained.
Rishi Sunak is emphatic about claims made on the campaign trail to win Conservative Party members’ votes in the leadership race to succeed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that the couple are too wealthy to understand the concerns of many voters: “I do think in this country we judge people by their character and their actions, not by what’s in their bank account.” I am fortunate today, but I did not grow up this way. I worked very hard for what I have, as has my family, and that is why I want to do this job.”
He is equally stoic about polls showing his rival, Liz Truss, with a commanding lead in the race to Downing Street, and says the plan is to “love bomb” the Tory membership, as he did when he was chosen to run for Richmond in North Yorkshire as the Tory member of Parliament in 2015.
“I’m probably the underdog in this thing… but when I’m out and about, it doesn’t feel like the polls.” I’m out all the time, talking to people, it feels different on the ground… obviously, I’ve got work to do, but I’m up for it and throwing everything I’ve got at it,” he told ‘The Sunday Times.’
Rishi Sunak admitted that people are concerned about the future of the economy after the Bank of England forecasted a recession and want to see “positive realism” to counter the threat of a downturn, which is one of the key issues in the campaign.
“I have what it takes to lead the country through a difficult period and ensure that we emerge stronger and more united on the other side.” “I’ve done it before, and I can do it again, and people can trust me to do it,” he stated.