Akshata Murty’s Investment Firm Receives Government Grant; Raises Questions on Transparency

Labour leader Keir Starmer calls for more clarity on Prime Minister’s family business interests

The Times has reported that Catamaran Ventures Ltd., an investment firm controlled by Akshata Murty, the prime minister’s wife, has a stake in an education technology start-up called Study Hall. Study Hall received a £349,976 government grant in 2022 through Innovate UK. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has expressed concerns about a “pattern of behaviour” and called for increased transparency in the Prime Minister’s family’s business interests.

Akshata Murty, the daughter of an Indian billionaire and wife of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has been independently wealthy before her marriage. Her investment company, Catamaran Ventures Ltd., holds 2,474 shares in Study Hall. Founded by Sofia Fenichell, Study Hall has been granted £349,976 by Innovate UK, an arm’s length body from the national administration that aids companies in developing new products or services.


Sir Keir Starmer voiced his concerns, stating, “I think there are questions to answer in relation to this, there seems to be an emerging pattern of behaviour here, so I think the sooner those questions are answered the better.” This comes after Murty’s shares in childcare company Koru Kids, which benefited from policy announced in the budget, were revealed.

While there is no indication of wrongdoing by Ms Murty, who owns stakes in numerous companies, these revelations are likely to increase calls for more transparency regarding her and her husband’s finances and business interests. A Cabinet Office spokesperson confirmed that “all declarations have been made, and due process followed to the letter.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is currently under parliamentary investigation for not declaring his wife’s interest in childcare agency Koru Kids, which benefited from the budget in March. The Cabinet Office spokesperson added that the independent adviser has scrutinised the declarations made by all ministers and is content that any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts have been, or are in the process of being resolved.

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