As accusations of misconduct swirl around government – from Nadhim Zahawi’s tax fine to Rishi’s seatbelt slip-up – Guido can perhaps illuminate another instance of Prime Ministerial impropriety. Following previous revelations that Kuti Miah, the restaurateur who gave Rishi the “best training I’ve ever had”, repeatedly liquidated his restaurant’s companies and didn’t adequately distribute furlough cash to workers, Guido has been looking more closely at Sunak’s story.
The PM has described his time with Kuti as his “first job” as other reports say the PM worked for “pocket money”. Kuti, meanwhile, is quoted as saying Rishi worked shifts “for fun”. It’s understandable why the restaurateur might want to deflect attention from his payment practices…
A number of Kuti’s former staff allege that he often paid cash in hand. In a public Facebook comment, one worker claims they were paid off the books. The practise is contextualised by the following charge that they, and three of their colleagues, are still owed over £7,700 collectively.
Another confirmed to Guido that Kuti switched their payments to cash in hand during the pandemic, whilst other colleagues were perpetually paid off the books. Rishi said his curry house experience gave him an “appreciation of business and the importance of treating people fairly”. Kuti’s employees might have something to say about that.
As public finances buckle, treasury coffers could do with all the contributions they can get. It begs the obvious question, was Rishi paid cash in hand?