Rishi Sunak: Criticism of my wife was upsetting, but at least I didn’t slap anybody like Will Smith

The issue surfaced amid scrutiny about how businesses are operating in Russia given the economic sanctions on the Kremlin in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

Last week, a spokesman for the Chancellor said neither Mrs Murthy nor any members of her family “have any involvement in the operational decisions of the company”.

Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Sunak appeared to joke about the fallout from his Spring Statement, which was accused of not going far enough to help with the cost of living.

The Chancellor said: “Someone said: ‘Joe Root, Will Smith and me – not the best of weekends for any of us.’

“But I feel, on reflection, both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked – at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good.”

Smith is facing calls to return his acting Oscar after marching on to the stage during the ceremony and slapping comedian Chris Rock, following a joke about his wife’s shaved head.

Mr Root, the England Test cricket captain, is under pressure to resign after the team lost a tour to the West Indies. They have won just one of their last 17 Test matches.

‘I know it’s tough for people’

The Chancellor was also asked about soaring energy prices, which kick in on Friday when the energy price cap increases.

Mr Sunak said: “I’m confident in what we’ve done. I know it’s tough for people. We’re facing a very difficult situation with the price of things going up and I want to do what we can to ameliorate some of that, but I’m also honest with people that we can’t ameliorate all of it, sadly.

“That’s difficult for people to hear and the toughest part of this job is not being able to do everything that people would like you to do because we’re already borrowing quite a large amount of money.”

He added: “I don’t think borrowing lots more would be sensible. Actually, it has the risk of making the problem worse when you’ve got inflation and interest rates going up.”

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