Rishi Sunaks dream of being Prime Minister over? Chancellor in ironic fall from grace

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak receive lockdown fines

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Rishi Sunak has undergone a dramatic fall from grace ever since it was exposed that his wife Akshata Murty does not pay UK tax on millions of pounds of overseas income. Now, as it emerges the Chancellor has been fined for attending lockdown parties held in Downing Street, his dream of becoming the next Prime Minister could be thwarted.

Downing Street issued a statement today confirming the Chancellor was fined by the Metropolitan Police for attending an unspecified event while the country was held under strict lockdown rules.

What’s more, Mr Sunak has come under intense scrutiny for his wife, Akshata Murty, tax affairs over the last week.

While Ms Murty’s tax status is perfectly legal, it drew widespread criticism given that she is the wife of the man in charge of the UK’s tax laws.

Ms Murty hold non-domicile status in the UK, meaning she is not legally obliged to pay tax in the UK on her foreign income.

It has been reported she took £11.6 million in dividends in the past year from Infosys, the Indian IT firm founded by her father.

Ms Murty’s non-dom status means she would not have paid UK tax – at a rate of 39.35 percent – on the £11.6m she took in dividends.

However, after bowing to significant public pressure, the Chancellor’s wife announced she would begin to pay UK tax on her foreign income.

Her husband has recently raised tax bills for millions of UK workers via the National Insurance hike – all while a cost of living crisis deepens across the nation.

Now, the latest betting data from Smarkets shows just how badly the once widely-appreciated Chancellor has fallen out of public favour.

In January, Smarkets data showed Mr Sunak had a 42 percent chance of becoming the next Prime Minister.

Now, the latest betting data from Smarkets shows just how badly the once widely-appreciated Chancellor has fallen out of public favour.

In January, Smarkets data showed Mr Sunak had a 42 percent chance of becoming the next Prime Minister.

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Smarkets Political Analyst, Patrick Flynn, told Express.co.uk: ”Rishi Sunak, once heralded as the obvious successor to Boris Johnson, finds his political career on the line this week with his approval ratings in freefall amid numerous controversies around his and his family’s tax affairs – an ironic fall from grace for the man in charge of the country’s finances.

“The Chancellor’s perceived poor handling of the cost of living crisis, followed by the ongoing scandal of his family’s finances and tax avoidance, has seen his chance of becoming the next leader of the Conservative Party fall from a peak of 42 percent at the height of the partygate scandal to just 10 percent today.

“Our Next Tory Leader market is now wide open, with just 10 percentage points separating market leader Liz Truss and eight other candidates.

“‘A week is a long time in politics’ is an often-used cliché, but here it’s well warranted.

“Outside of an election, I don’t recall ever seeing someone go from being the clear favourite to be the next Prime Minister to having rumours about them potentially leaving politics altogether within the space of a few months.”

Smarkets also reports there is only a 60 percent chance he will remain an MP after the next election, with rumours he could leave for a job in America.

Mr Sunak is predicted to pursue a career in Silicon Valley, California, where he has a £5.5million seafront penthouse, if it becomes clear he has no chance of succeeding Mr Johnson.

A source close to Mr Sunak said: “He isn’t the sort of person who would stay in Parliament for another 10 years waiting for his chance to come around again.

“If it became apparent he wasn’t going to be Prime Minister, he would just go.”

Mr Sunak has ordered a full-scale investigation by the Cabinet Office and the Treasury into who leaked details of his wife’s tax status to the media.

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