DOUGLAS Ross has urged the Chancellor to be "open and upfront" about his wife’s controversial tax arrangements.

The Scottish Tory leader said Rishi Sunak should answer questions about Akshata Murty’s non-domiciled status, adding it was “right that these issues are raised”.

“I’ve always taken the attitude that the best thing to do is be upfront and honest and accept if there are issues and respond to them as quickly as possible,” Mr Ross said today.

Mr Sunak has previously tried to shut down debate about the subject, while Boris Johnson said on Thursday that families should be kept out of politics if at all possible.

However Labour has continued to pile pressure on Mr Sunak over his wife’s tax status, saying he could be guilty of “breath-taking hypocrisy” if it emerged he was hiking taxes on the country while his wife was reducing her own tax bill thanks to her wealth.

It emerged this week that Ms Murty, the daughter of an Indian IT billionaire, was paying £30,000 a year to claim non-domiciled tax status while living in Downing Street.

The arrangement means Ms Murty, whose stake in her father’s firm is estimated to be worth around £700m, is not legally obliged to pay tax in the UK on foreign income.

UK resident taxpayers currently pay up to 39 per cent tax on foreign dividend payments.

Her spokeswoman has refused to say where Ms Murty does pay tax, and was unable to rule out her use of tax havens.

Amid speculation Ms Murty may have avoided £20m in tax, Mr Sunak used an interview in today’s Sun to try to close the subject down, blaming Labour for a “smear campaign”.

“To smear my wife to get at me is awful,” he said. “Every single penny that she earns in the UK she pays UK taxes on, of course she does. And every penny that she earns internationally, for example in India, she would pay the full taxes on that.”

However speaking to the media as part of the Scottish local election campaign, Mr Ross made it clear that such scrutiny was legitimate and that the public deserved answers.

He said: “I expect the Chancellor will be completely upfront and respond to the queries that are made about this issue. 

“In terms of what the Chancellor has said to date on this issue, I think he has tried to clarify the situation with his wife's status.

“And it's clear, as we continue, that other issues come up and I think it will be right for the Chancellor to respond to those very quickly, to provide the clarity that everyone would expect on this issue.”

Pressed on whether the Chancellor had provided sufficient clarity to date, the Moray MP said: “If there are more issues that come up, the public deserve to get answers promptly about it, and I would expect that Chancellor to answer those concerns if they are raised.

“We’ve got to be open and upfront about all of these issues, and if any more revelations come forward, then I would expect the Chancellor to respond to them promptly.

“I’ve always taken the attitude that the best thing to do is be upfront and honest and accept  if there are issues and respond to them as quickly as possible. That’s the way I do things.” 

Labour suggested today that Mr Sunak could have broken the ministerial code by failing to be transparent about his wife’s non-dom status.

Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said: “We know that the chancellor didn’t declare it properly. It is in the ministerial code that the status of your spouse, the financial circumstances of your spouse, are relevant and the reason is because there can be a conflict of interest.”

A Treasury spokesperson 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 adviser on ministers’ interests has confirmed that they are completely satisfied with the steps the chancellor has taken to meet the requirements of the code.”

Last month Mr Sunak generated bad headlines at the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen after he gave a recorded "keynote speech" to delegates that was only 322 words long and lasted barely two minutes.

The SNP accused the Chancellor of insulting Scotland.