RISHI Sunak was given a morale-boosting pep talk by the PM as he considered his future over his family’s tax affairs.
Rishi Sunak was given a morale-boosting pep talk by the PM as he considered his future over his family’s tax affairs
The Chancellor was prepared to quit after the row over his wife’s overseas earnings
But Boris Johnson spent ten minutes lifting his spirits and convinced him he would survive a difficult week — as he had done several times himself.
He followed it up with a second call in which he assured him his job was safe and declared: “I’ve got your back, Rishi.”
Mr Sunak is facing a barrage of questions after it emerged he kept the PM in the dark on his complex financial affairs.
He confirmed he still held a US green card until last October — meaning he was classed as a permanent resident of the US while living in Downing Street.
The revelation came hours after his wife Akshata did a U-turn and agreed to pay UK tax on her overseas wealth to save his career.
Mr Sunak’s team say the PM has been “super supportive”. One said: “He was considering whether he could withstand his family taking this any more.”
He was once viewed as a shoo-in to succeed Mr Johnson. But after a disastrous week, his approval ratings hit minus 15.
Tories are questioning his judgment and a Cabinet minister who admires him even predicted: “This might well make him walk away.”
His allies say his big “sin” was to “over-declare” his personal circumstances, and then be “screwed over” by a mole.
But Labour’s Chris Bryant said: “Unless he comes clean and tells us everything, our suspicions will only deepen.”
The Chancellor’s spokesman said: “Rishi Sunak had a green card when he lived and worked in the US.
“Upon his first trip to the US as Chancellor, after discussion with the US authorities, it was considered best to return his green card, which he did.
“All laws and rules were followed and full taxes paid where required while he held his green card.”