Friday, 1 Mar 2024

Rishi Sunak hails his 'secret weapon' wife

Rishi Sunak hails his ‘secret weapon’ wife as key to getting deals for Britain across the line in international talks after praising her for ‘building personal relationships’ with other leaders at the G20

  • Rishi Sunak praised Akshata Murty’s skill at ‘building personal relationships’
  • He spoke after they enjoyed a rare ‘date night’ dinner in the Indian capital

The Prime Minister has hailed his ‘secret weapon’ wife as key to brokering international deals, such as vital trade negotiations with India.

Rishi Sunak praised Akshata Murty’s skill at ‘building personal relationships’ with other leaders at the G20 summit in Delhi.

He spoke after they enjoyed a rare ‘date night’ dinner in the Indian capital on Friday. Earlier, his wife spearheaded Britain’s charm offensive at the meeting, including playing football barefoot with children.

Yesterday, at the gathering of the world’s 20 largest economies, Mr Sunak described Ms Murty in glowing terms – and revealed his parents were on holiday with his in-laws in Bangalore in the country’s south.

Mr Sunak said: ‘I love her very much, and it’s lovely to have her on a trip, because we don’t get to spend much time with each other.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty heading off to the official G20 dinner

Rishi Sunak praised Akshata Murty’s skill at ‘building personal relationships’ with other leaders at the G20 summit in Delhi

‘The most time I get to spend with her these days is when she gets to sit on a plane with me.

‘We get to catch up or, as with last night, have a very rare dinner together. We have many special memories of being here together.’

He added: ‘Part of these trips is building personal relationships with other leaders. There are lots of things that go into building those personal relationships, including how we interact with other people’s spouses.’ 

He praised his wife for ‘throwing herself into the job back home… spending a lot of time making sure that Downing Street is opened up to lots of different schools and children from around the country, and she has enjoyed that as well’.

Ms Murty’s father Narayana is the sixth richest person in India, with an estimated £3.9billion fortune.

Mr Sunak met Indian premier Narendra Modi yesterday, amid expectations that the trade deal will be signed off within weeks

Mr Sunak met Indian premier Narendra Modi yesterday, amid expectations that the trade deal will be signed off within weeks.

He said he would be working with Mr Modi ‘towards our shared ambition of doubling UK-India trade by 2030’. 

Tory MPs have expressed concerns India will insist on a relaxation of UK immigration controls as a ‘price’ for the deal.

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