After the prime minister’s wife’s company received taxpayer funds, Labour claims a “pattern of behaviour” is emerging.
Ms. Murty, daughter of an Indian billionaire, runs Catamaran Ventures Ltd.
As reported by The Times, Catamaran has invested in the education/technology startup Study Hall.
Sir Keir Starmer spoke from Blackpool as he campaigned for the local elections on Thursday.
He stated, “I believe there are questions to be answered regarding this. There appears to be an emerging pattern of behavior here. So I believe it would be best if these questions were answered as soon as possible.”
The Times reports that Study Hall was founded by Sofia Fenichell, who previously managed the company Mrs. Wordsmith, which collapsed in 2021 after also receiving state support.
The funds allocated to the current endeavor encompass the period between August 2022 and August 2023. Therefore, the bid would have been submitted before Rishi Sunak was appointed prime minister. But most likely while he was chancellor.
Companies House indicates that Ms. Murty’s Catamaran Ventures owns 2,474 shares of Study Hall.
A panel of financiers determines the projects in which Innovate UK will invest.
Ms. Murty has been cleared of any wrongdoing, and she owns shares in several companies. But this will likely increase demands for greater transparency regarding her and her husband’s finances and business interests.
A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office stated, “All declarations have been made, and all procedures have been followed to the letter.”
Parliament is also investigating Mr. Sunak’s failure to declare his wife’s Koru Kids involvement.
This childcare agency benefited from the budget in March of this year, but Mr. Sunak did not disclose his family’s involvement when speaking to MPs at the Liaison Committee; he has since registered it separately on his list of ministerial interests.
“The interests published are those that the independent adviser deems relevant – or could be perceived as relevant – to each minister’s specific role and responsibilities,” added the Cabinet Office spokesman.
“As stated in the document, the independent adviser has reviewed all ministers’ declarations and is satisfied that any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts have been resolved or are in the process of being resolved.”