In an interview with ‘The Sunday Times’, the former Chancellor opened up about his family life as he reflected on one of the secrets behind his marriage.
London: Britain’s prime ministerial candidate, Rishi Sunak, has shared 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 US.
In an interview with ‘The Sunday Times’, the former Chancellor opened up about his family life as he reflected on one of the secrets behind his marriage being the fact that the couple are very different people.
“I’m incredibly tidy, she’s very messy. I’m much more organised, she is more spontaneous,” Sunak said.
“She is not going to love me for saying this, but I’ll be honest with you, she is not big on the whole tidying thing. She is a total nightmare, clothes everywhere… and shoes… oh God shoes,” he said.
The couple, who met while he was studying for an MBA at Stanford University, got married in a two-day ceremony in Bangalore in 2006. Sunak, who was born in Southampton to Indian-origin parents, admits switching his class schedule around at Stanford “to be in a particular class” to sit next to Murty.
“I didn’t really need to take it but I did it anyway so we could sit next to each other,” he said.
The couple have two daughters, Krishna, 11, and Anoushka, 9, and Sunak attended both births and loved helping with the childcare.
He recalls: “I was very lucky because when they were born, I ran my own business with others but I was completely in control of my time and so I was very much around. I always say my parenting sweet spot is zero to three and I was really lucky that when they were that age I had the time to just be there a lot and do a lot. I loved every second of it. Every time I’m on the campaign trail and I see a little baby or something, my arm goes out.” Sunak’s family moved out of the flat above No. 10 Downing Street, the official residence used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in April in the wake of a controversy over Murty’s legal non-domicile tax status, which she later relinquished to pay taxes on her income from Infosys shares also in the UK to avoid the issue becoming a “distraction” for her husband. Now, as a contender for the top job, the former finance minister told the newspaper that the family would return to Downing Street should he be elected as Conservative Party leader and the next Prime Minister to succeed Boris Johnson on September 5.
“The decision was nothing to do with what had happened. It was everything to do with the fact that our eldest daughter was in her last term of primary school and was meant to be able to walk to school by herself every day,” he said.