Home World UK minister Rishi Sunak invokes Will Smith on criticism of wife Akshata Murthy

UK minister Rishi Sunak invokes Will Smith on criticism of wife Akshata Murthy

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Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said Thursday that it was upsetting to see people target his wife Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, to underline their criticism of him. Speaking to the BBC’s Newscast, Sunak referred to Hollywood star Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony this week after the latter made a joke about his wife. “At least I didn’t slap anybody for criticising my wife,” Sunak said, adding, “which is good.”

“Both Will Smith and I, having our wives attacked… at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good,” Sunak declared.

He also said that while it was fine for people to ‘take shots’ at him over the way he has handled the British economy post Brexit and the pandemic, it is ‘wrong to come for my wife’. “Fair game… that’s what I signed up for,” but “it is very upsetting and wrong of people to come for my wife,” he said.

Sunak was caught in a spot of controversy recently over the Russian interests of Infosys, in which Akshata Murthy is a shareholder. The British government has slapped strict sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, and critics of Sunak had questioned if those sanctions would apply to the business interests of his wife and her father’s company.

Sunak responded, “I am an elected politician and I am here to talk about what I am responsible for. My wife is not.”

The interviewer countered Sunak’s argument and said that though his wife may not be an elected politician, the British government was asking its taxpayers to help Ukraine while his family might be potentially benefiting from Russia.

“I don’t think that’s the case. The operation of the companies is up to them. We have put in place significant sanctions and all the companies we are responsible for are following those as they rightly should, sending a very strong message to Putin’s aggression,” Sunak also said.

Sunak had urged companies to pull out of Russia to cripple the Russian economy which is already reeling under severe sanctions by the United States and other European nations. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. With fighting now in its sixth week, it has been still raging as Russia continues to make aggressive advancements.

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