Akshata Murty's political stage debut for ‘best friend’ UK PM Rishi Sunak
Britain's first lady Akshata Murty made a surprise debut on the political stage as she stepped out to introduce “best friend” Rishi Sunak for his maiden speech as UK prime minister to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. Saying that her husband was unaware of her “gate-crashing”, the 43-year-old daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy went on to share her pride in Rishi Sunak's achievements and how it was his “honesty and integrity” that had first attracted her to him when they met as students at Stanford University.
“Rishi and I are each other's best friends; we are one team and I could not imagine being anywhere else than here today to show my support to him and to the party,” Akshata Murty said.
“Rishi and I met when we were 24 when we were both studying abroad in America. Right from the very beginning, I was struck by two things about him...his deep love for his home, the United Kingdom, and his sincere desire to ensure as many people as possible have a chance to have the opportunities he was lucky enough to have had. It completely energised him. Being with Rishi was the easiest decision of my life,” she said.
The one word that encapsulates her husband is “aspiration”, she said, adding, “Sometimes when the going gets tough, I remind Rishi that he's fighting for his values. That he's fighting for this party's values, knowing that it's a hard road ahead. That success is hard one."
“He has an incredible zest for life. What drew me to him most was his strength of character, his honesty, his integrity, with a firm understanding of right from wrong. It's what I'm still drawn to, even today, after 14 years of being married,” she said.
“Rishi, you know this, you know that doing the right thing for the long term even when it is hard is the right thing to do. I hope you also know how proud you make our girls and me every single day,” she concluded.