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Friday, May 20, 2022

Rishi Sunak and wife donate over £100,000 to Winchester college

Rishi Sunak and wife donate over £100,000 to Winchester college

Donation revealed in annual journal of private boys’ boarding school where chancellor was head boy
Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murthy, have donated more than £100,000 to the chancellor’s old private school, Winchester college.

The private boys’ boarding school, which costs £43,335 a year to attend, revealed the donation in its annual journal.

A spokesperson for Sunak said: “Rishi and his wife have donated to numerous charities and philanthropic causes for many years and will continue to do so. These donations are made to help fund scholarships for children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to go to Winchester.”

The school’s journal from 2020 also put him in the list of benefactors who have donated more than £100,000 in total, suggesting he has been a regular donor.

Speaking of his private education at Winchester, where he was head boy, Sunak told Sky last month: “I was really lucky to have that opportunity. It was something that was really extraordinary, it certainly put my life on a different trajectory.

“As I said, it’s part of the reason I’m sitting here and I’m really grateful to have had that opportunity. And I look back on that time. It’s helped make me who I am as a person, and it helps me do the job in the way that I do it. And it confirms to me that education is one of the best tools at our disposal in politics to spread opportunity.”

Labour highlighted Sunak’s previous claim that he had “maxed out” on how much support he could give state schools, while continuing to hand subsidies to “elitist private schools” through tax breaks.

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, said: “Britain should have the best state schools in the world. But after 12 years of Tory neglect four in 10 of our children leave school without the qualifications they need.

“Labour would end the tax giveaway Rishi Sunak hands out to his old boys’ network and use the money to improve every state school instead, ensuring everyone leaves education ready for work and ready for life.”

Sunak’s personal wealth has recently come under scrutiny over investments his wife holds in Infosys, which had business in Russia.

Murthy holds an estimated £690m stake in the Indian IT services company and collects about £11.5m in annual dividends. The Guardian reported last week that it was “urgently” closing its office in Russia.

Pressure had been mounting on Sunak to answer accusations that his family was collecting “blood money” dividends from the firm’s continued operation in Russia despite the invasion of Ukraine.

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, called on the chancellor to reveal whether his family had been “benefiting from money made in Russia when the government has put in place sanctions” on firms and individuals.

After scrutiny of his wife’s holding in Infosys, Sunak told the BBC’s Newscast that it was “very upsetting and … wrong for people to try and come at my wife”.

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