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Sunak: The most time I get to spend with wife Akshata Murty is on foreign trips

Rishi Sunak has opened up about how the job of prime minister means he rarely sees his wife unless they are on international trips together.

Akshata Murty has been a focal point of attention during her husband’s visit to India, the country where she grew up, for the G20 summit.

Mrs Murty is the daughter of NR Narayana Murty, the billionaire co-founder of Indian IT giant Infosys and a major figure in India.

The couple’s three-day trip for the G20 is the first time they have returned together since he became Prime Minister in October.

During their joint trip to the British Council in New Delhi on Friday, staff members were seen hurrying to get into pictures with fashion designer Mrs Murty.

She later took off her shoes to play football with children in the council’s courtyard.

That night, the pair had dinner together in a hotel after having to abandon their original plan of visiting one of their favourite New Delhi restaurants due to the lockdown imposed by Indian authorities during the world leaders’ summit – shutting many independent businesses.

Mr Sunak, asked about her role in his premiership, said the trip had afforded the couple some rare time together.

Speaking to reporters at his hotel in the Indian capital on Saturday, the Conservative Party leader said: “She’s my wife and I love her very much. It is so good, it is lovely to have her on a trip.

“Candidly, we don’t get to spend much time with each other.

“The most time I get to spend with her these days is every so often when she gets to come sit on a plane with me for 10 hours and we get to catch up or, as happened last night, we get to have a very rare dinner together.

“It is obviously nice being here with her – this is where she is from, we have many special memories here together.”

G20 summit
Rishi Sunak said it was ‘special’ to return to India with wife Akshata Murty (Dan Kitwood/PA)

Mr Sunak, who has two daughters with Mrs Murty, said their trip coincided with their parents holidaying together in Bangalore, a city in the south of the country.

“Funnily enough – it was planned ages ago – my parents are with her parents right now in Bangalore,” he continued.

“They are all together having a holiday and going off to see some temples and things, which was organised ages ago and organised without any reference to this (the G20).

“But they were all together when we arrived, which was fun, so we enjoyed calling them and saying hi.”

Mrs Murty has kept a low profile since scrutiny was placed on her “nom-dom” status while her husband was chancellor..

G20 summit
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty plays football with local schoolchildren at the British Council (Dan Kitwood/PA)

The arrangement reportedly saved her millions of pounds while the cost of living soared.

Following the controversy, Mrs Murty, who married Mr Sunak in 2009, declared that she would pay UK taxes on all her worldwide income.

Mr Sunak said his other half plays an important role on overseas trips when it comes to getting on with other leaders’ spouses and that, at home, has made it her mission to make Downing Street more accessible.

“She has thrown herself into the job back home,” the Prime Minister said.

“She is spending a lot of time making sure that Downing Street is opened up to lots of different schools and schoolchildren from around the country, and she is enjoying doing that as well.”