Mr Sunak on Saturday ordered an investigation into his wife’s tax status leak, as the Chancellor’s allies said officials could be prosecuted for leaking the information, which he had told a small number of officials.
A source said: “It will be a more aggressive version of leak investigations, where it will not only be about investigating who the holders of the sensitive information were and who had access to this information, but also who , if someone asked to see them.
“The investigation will be conducted with a view to possible criminal prosecution as it is against the law to disclose someone’s tax status.”
“A little unpleasant”
A source admitted Mr Sunak would have known the details of the investments when he launched the ‘blind management’ arrangement in 2019, but insisted the mechanism meant that ‘from then on, he has no idea if they would still be there or not.” The Treasury declined to answer questions about the size and composition of the investments, or whether any had ties to tax havens.
Only four other ministers declare “blind management” arrangements in the list of ministers’ interests – all of whom are peers.
Sajid Javid, Mr Sunak’s predecessor and a former investment banker, declared no financial interests when he was chancellor.
Mr Sunak’s allies also hit back at his critics for ‘somewhat nasty’ comments ‘speculating or initiating a conversation about a woman’s death and what might happen to her estate’.
It comes after it was reported that the Chancellor’s wife would avoid over £400million in tax if she were to die, due to a 1950s treaty between Britain and India.
A source said critics of the Chancellor should refrain from “assuming what she might do with this area”.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: ‘The Chancellor provided a full list of all relevant interests when he first became a minister in 2018, as required by the Ministerial Code. The Independent Advisor for Ministers’ Interests has confirmed that he is fully satisfied with the measures taken by the Chancellor to comply with the requirements of the code.