RISHI Sunak has declared his wife’s shareholding in the childcare firm at the heart of a Commons ethics probe in the new list of ministers’ interests.

The Prime Minister included the reference to Koru Kids, in which Akshata Murty has held 20,000 shares since 2019, for the first time among the published disclosures.

He said his wife had “a number of direct shareholdings” and included a reference to an April 4 letter to the Commons Liaison Committee which gave more details.

However No10 refused to say exactly when Mr Sunak first declared the shareholding to the Cabinet Office in private.

Ms Murty, the daughter an Indian IT billionaire, is worth an estimated £600million.

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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".

The Prime Minister’s press secretary declined to give timings, but said a long-established process on ministerial interests had been followed.

“We have been very clear that the Prime Minister has taken his obligation to declare everything very seriously, he has done that for a number of years.

“Three independent advisers have reviewed those declarations so one would infer by that, that those declarations – including that of Koru Kids – have been made for a number of years.”

It emerged on Monday that Mr Sunak is under investigation over a possible failure to declare his wife’s interest in the childminding agency, which is to benefit from state support.

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

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 incentives in the Budget as “great”.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Daniel Greenberg last week opened a probe into the matter under the Code of Conduct which says  MPs must be “open and frank in declaring any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its committees”.

Mr Sunak’s office said he declared his wife’s shares in his register of ministerial interests, not all of which is published, but the probe is about whether he should have told MPs as well.

Mr Sunak’s ethics adviser Sir Laurie Magnus said he was content that “any actual, potential and perceived” conflicts of interests involving ministers “have been, or are in the process of being” resolved.

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The independent adviser on ministers’ interests explained: “The list is not a register of interests and does not therefore include every interest that a minister has declared in relation to themselves and their family members.

“To do so would represent an excessive degree of intrusion into the private affairs of ministers that would be unreasonable, particularly in respect of their family members.

“The list instead documents those interests, including of close family, which are, or may be perceived to be, directly relevant to a minister’s ministerial responsibilities.”

He added: “I am content that any actual, potential and perceived conflicts have been, or are in the process of being, resolved, but it is important that ministers and their permanent secretaries remain alert in the context of their respective portfolios if ministers’ interests change.”

No10 stressed that there was a difference between an interest being declared and being placed in the public domain.

“It has not been published. There is a difference between declaring something as a minister…. and then what is then deemed in the public interest to be put in the public domain by the independent adviser.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman also declined to get into detail on what, if any, mitigations were put in place in this instance.

“We don’t get into specific details of mitigations,” he said.

Downing Street insisted Mr Sunak did not have a problem following the rules.

The PM’s press secretary said: “Not at all, no. The Prime Minister takes his obligations to declare interests incredibly seriously, he’s followed all processes to the absolute letter.”