Meet the new First DOG! Rishi Sunak’s fox red labrador retriever Nova
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was pictured today with his wife Akshata Murty walking down the No 10 Downing Street hallway alongside their labrador retreiver Nova after buying poppies from representatives of the Royal British Legion.
The Sunaks, estimated to be worth £730million, stood either side of fox red Nova – who had a poppy attached to her collar – as Mr Sunak urged people to donate money to honour past and present veterans as Remembrance Day approaches.
Earlier this morning, after briefly struggling with putting a £20note into a Poppy Appeal tin, Mr Sunak then put a poppy on his wife’s jumper before she reciprocated.
The PM then put a purple collar with a poppy attached around Nova’s neck before giving him a treat.
Nova could reach new heights of fame as she begins life in the fast lane under the ownership of Britain’s first non-white Prime Minister.
But the fox red dog will be no stranger to living at high speed as labrador retreivers are known for their energetic and playful lifestyle.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty after they bought poppies, and a special ‘poppy’ dog collar for their pet Labrador Nova, from representatives of the Royal British Legion at 10 Downing Street
Nova could reach new heights of fame as she begins life in the fast lane under the ownership of Britain’s first non-white Prime Minister
Rishi Sunak tends to his dog Nova, putting a collar with a poppy attached to it around his labrador’s neck
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty pose with volunteers from the Royal British Legion outside Number 10 Downing Street
It is also a return to the limelight for Nova who lived next door at No 11 Downing Street while its owner was Chancellor under Boris Johnson’s leadership.
The then-chancellor first announced that the family had received a new member with an adorable picture of the pair together in June last year with the caption: ‘Meet Nova’.
Mr Sunak could be seen looking down at Nova who was perfectly positioned on his lap, staring straight down the camera lens.
Then Chancellor Rishi Sunak welcomed Labrador Nova into his family last July, at eight weeks old
In preparation for the Budget last year, Mr Sunak posted a photo of him intently looking at a document while an exhausted Nova could be seen slumped on the sofa
Mr Sunak was not too eager on welcoming a dog into the family but after his two daughter’s Krisna and Anoushka met Boris Johnson’s pooch Dilyn (pictured together), they begged their father for a puppy of their own
At the time, the dog was eight-weeks old, so Nova is now believed to be around 17-months old.
It’s reported that Mr Sunak was not too eager on welcoming a dog into the family but after his two daughter’s Krisna and Anoushka met Boris Johnson’s pooch Dilyn, they begged their father for a puppy of their own.
The PM eventually caved in and the labrador retriever arrived into the household.
A Downing Street source told The Sun at the time: ‘Rishi was fighting it but finally gave in, and the whole building is cooing over her.’
The No 10 pet is also believed to have a taste for roast chicken and even took naps in the former Chancellor’s famous red Budget box.
Nova, who featured on Mr Sunak’s Instagram today, has often been seen on the page, including when the now-PM was preparing for the 2021 Budget.
Mr Sunak’s two daughter’s Krisna and Anoushka (pictured at a campaigning event in Grantham in July) were desperate for a dog
Mr Sunak posted a photo of him intently looking at a document while an exhausted Nova could be seen slumped on the sofa.
‘Tomorrow’s Budget and Spending Review will deliver a stronger economy for the British people. I hope you find it more engaging than Nova did,’ the caption said.
Nova will have fierce competition to overtake Larry the Cat as Downing Street’s chief animal.
The cat which has become synonymous with No 10 even has its own parody Instagram account.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Larry whose fame skyrocketed during the last few months where he appeared under three Prime Minister’s and multiple Cabinet reshuffles.
The Chief Mouser, as he is known, has been a staple of Downing Street for around a decade now.
The parody Twitter account, known to post tongue-in-cheek Tweets, joked when Mr Sunak was made PM: ‘Rishi Sunak is becoming prime minister. His family is loaded so caviar and lobster on the menu for me from tomorrow.’
Slipper-ing to Downing Street! Rishi’s billionaire wife Akshata Murty dressed down in £42 White Company sliders and £50 faux fur H&M gilet as she moved back into No 10
By Harriet Johnston For MailOnline
She may be the heiress with a billionaire father, but Rishi Sunak’s wife ditched the designer labels over the weekend to show off her love of high street brands.
Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Indian IT mogul Narayana Murthy, was snapped overseeing movers unpacking the family’s furniture into No10 on Saturday.
Ms Murthy, who is more often seen dressed up in designer labels, opted for a casual look for the occasion – pairing grey leggings, a light grey jumper and a £50 black fluffy H&M gilet with her £42 White Company faux fur sliders.
She was pictured overseeing workers from Bishop’s Move unloading what seemed to be an upright piano, a double mattress and a barbecue, as well as smaller boxes of possessions.
The Sunak family has chosen to return to the No10 flat – where they lived while Mr Sunak was Chancellor of the Exchequer – instead of moving into the more spacious flat in No11 as has been the custom for prime ministers since 1997, when Sir Tony Blair swept to power.
Akshata’s off-duty mum style included a pair of new White Company slippers.
Described online as ‘stylish and versatile’, the brand say they can be worn as ‘nightwear as loungewear and daywear’ and suitable for ‘milder weather’.
Ms Murthy, who owns a £430million stake in her Indian tech billionaire father’s IT business, has raised eyebrows with her high-end wardrobe.
In December 2020, the IT heiress wore a box-fresh pair of £445 Gucci trainers, a REDValentino shearling and leather coat costing £1,630 and a leather skirt worth more then £1,000, for a date night with her husband in upmarket Mayfair.
Mr Sunak and Ms Murthy have built up a joint fortune of £730million, the Sunday Times Rich List revealed in May, making him the first frontline politician to feature in the annual wealth rankings since its inception in 1989.
Mr Sunak made big money in the City of London before entering politics.
But the bulk of the cash is from his wife’s stake in IT giant Infosys, set up by her father N. R. Narayana Murthy, one of the richest men in India who has been described as the father of the Indian IT sector and ‘one of the 12 greatest businessmen of all time’.
Ms Murthy has enjoyed around £54million in dividends over the past seven and a half years alone.
There was a furore after it emerged Ms Murthy had non-dom status, which typically applies to someone who was born overseas and spends much of their time in the UK but still considers another country to be their permanent residence or ‘domicile’.
It has been estimated Ms Murthy’s non-dom status could have saved her £20million in taxes on dividends. She later agreed to pay UK taxes on her worldwide income.
Her family are also have a joint venture with Amazon worth £900million a year and shares in the firm running Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian and burger chain Wendy’s in India.
Before becoming Chancellor, Sunak was better known in India than he was in Britain, after he became a household name when he married Akshata.
The furore came after was revealed that Ms Murthy had non-dom status, which typically applies to someone who was born overseas and spends much of their time in the UK but still considers another country to be their permanent residence or ‘domicile’.
Speculation was rife over whether the family would revert to previous living arrangements, with Mr Sunak splitting his time between Downing Street and his house in west London.
In April Mr Sunak, his wife Akshata Murty, their daughters Krishna and Anoushka and family labrador Nova moved out to be closer to the children’s £22,000-a-year private school.
Coming around the same time that news emerged that Mr Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, had claimed ‘non-dom’ tax status, reportedly saving her millions, there was speculation the move was linked to a wish to avoid media attention, although Mr Sunak denied that at the time.
But earlier this week, Mr Sunak’s press secretary told reporters: ‘They will be moving into the No 10 flat, where they used to live.’
Asked whether the family plans to redecorate the flat, his press secretary said: ‘Not that I’m aware of.’
It means that they will not live in the flat above No11, which was renovated by Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie for an estimated £200,000 in the so-called ‘wallpapergate’ scandal – which notoriously involved gold wallpaper that cost thousands of pounds.
However, Mr Sunak is still keeping the London townhouse, and if he wants to get away from Downing Street, he will be able to spend weekends at the Prime Minister’s official country estate, Chequers, with his family, as well as spending time at their London properties and their constituency home in North Yorkshire.