RISHI Sunak is facing a Commons ethics investigation over a possible undeclared interest.

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has launched a probe into shares in a childcare firm held by the Prime Minister’s wife. 

It could damage Mr Sunak, who promised “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level”, when he became PM last year, ahead of local elections in England in May.

It emerged last month that Akshata Murty has shares in the private childminding agency Koru Kids.

The company is to benefit from a pilot scheme announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, in which £1200 is offered to people who train to become a childminder through an agency.

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Mr Sunak failed to mention his wife’s interests when he spoke about the childcare scheme at the Commons Liaison Committee in late March.

A fortnight earlier, Mr Hunt announced a pilot of incentive payments of £600 for childminders joining the profession.

Questioning why the sum doubled to £1200 if workers signed up through an agency, Labour MP Catherine McKinnell asked if Mr Sunak had any interests to declare.

“No, all my disclosures are declared in the normal way,” Mr Sunak said.

Koru Kids, one of six childminder agencies listed on the Government’s website, described the new incentives in the Budget as “great”.

An update to the parliamentary website showed Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Daniel Greenberg opened the investigation under the MPs’ code of conduct on Thursday.

“Members must always be open and frank in declaring any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its committees, and in any communications with ministers, members, public officials or public office holders,” the relevant section reads.

At the time the possible conflict of interest emerged, Mr Sunak’s press secretary said the interest would be included in the updated statement of ministers’ interests, due out in May.

Mr Sunak also wrote to the Liaison Committee earlier this month to “clarify for the Parliamentary record that this interest has rightly been declared to the Cabinet Office”.

He said the new list of ministerial interests, which has not been updated for nearly a year, would be published “shortly”.

It was last compiled by Lord Geidt, who resigned as Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser after a tumultuous period under the then-prime minister.

However Mr Greenberg’s investigation appears to centre on whether the Prime Minister should have declared the interest to MPs as well as the Cabinet Office.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said the delay in compiling the ministers’ interests list had “left a transparency black hole which is enabling the Prime Minister and those he has appointed to dodge proper scrutiny of their affairs”.

She added: “If Rishi Sunak has got nothing to hide, he should commit to publishing the register before May’s elections so the public can see for themselves.”

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Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain, the MP for North East Fife, said: "Another day and another accusation of a Conservative Prime Minister bending the rules.

"This is on the same day that Rishi Sunak may have broken election rules for his government announcement today.

"After months of Conservative sleaze and scandal, the public just want a government which is focused on the country, rather than saving their own skin."

Mr Sunak's last public entry in the list of ministers interests, issued when he was still Chancellor in May last year, said his wife "owns a venture capital investment company, Catamaran Ventures UK Ltd", but did not mention Koru Kids.

Ms Murty has owned 20,000 shares in Koru Kids since 2019. 

However not all ministers' declarations are made public, only those "of close family, which are, or may be perceived to be, directly relevant to a Minister’s ministerial responsibilities".

Mr Sunak has previously been fined by police for not wearing a seatbelt, adding to the fixed-penalty notice he was handed for a lockdown breach alongside Mr Johnson.

A No 10 spokeswoman responded: “We are happy to assist the commissioner to clarify how this has been transparently declared as a ministerial interest.”