Rishi Sunak has hit back at stories about his wife’s non-domicile tax status. In an interview with The Sun, the Chancellor rails against the “smears” (although there is nothing false about the accusations) and protests that he should not have to ask his wife Akshata Murty to give up her Indian citizenship (although nobody has called for that, as it is a separate matter to her tax status). He also blames Labour for the ‘dirty tricks campaign’, yet his allies in the Telegraph have pointed the finger at a far more likely generator of briefings against him: No 10. “It’s all coming from No 10. Rishi’s the only credible show in town,” their source said. “Ever since the Spring Statement it’s been one thing after the other.”
Is this the beginning of the end for the Chancellor – or does he have Boris Johnson’s luck to see him through? Conservative backbenchers believe the current situation is unsustainable and there is talk of potential resignation. The Treasury is not denying another key detail newly reported by Sam Coates: that Sunak had a US green card, for which he will have pledged to be a permanent US resident, during his first year as Chancellor. Labour’s 12 questions to Sunak highlight that there is lots of missing information still to come out, particularly how much tax has been saved via the non-dom scheme. The complexities of the couple’s tax arrangements could make the story too complicated for public attention, but in fact they look far more likely to mean it has legs.
Today is my last as editor of LabourList. When I was first handed responsibility for the website in February 2018, I was 23 and terrified. I had been an avid LabourList reader as a teenager, but getting such a huge role was daunting. It basically means being CEO of a tiny company, comprising many jobs, from reporting, commissioning and sub-editing to fundraising, event organising, raising its profile via media appearances and controlling all the finances and administration. I am proud to have written over 2,600 articles, hosted dozens of conference and online events, redesigned the website, increased our morning email readership by almost 50% and secured lots of exclusives.
After covering a general election, a leadership election, countless internal elections and possibly the most tumultuous period in Labour Party history, I can confidently say that I am delighted to be handing over to our reporter Elliot, who will now take over as editor. He knows the ropes and has worked hard to keep readers up to date with all the latest Labour news since he joined for the 2019 election campaign. I am also happy to have hired a new full-time reporter before I left: Katie is only in her first weeks but learning quickly and already a big help.
Thank you to everyone who has allowed me to increase the email open rate by loyally clicking on it daily, to all those who have supported us via small donations, which are LabourList’s largest source of revenue, and to Unite the Union. And many thanks to every contributor who offered a comment piece and to every source who has helped me over the years (do stay in touch!). I wish Elliot the best of luck and hope you will all keep returning to read the inside track on Labour, as I will. Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.