JUST two months before Rishi Sunak opened hundreds of new licences for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea, an IT firm founded by his father-in-law signed a $1.5 billion deal with energy giant BP.

The Times of India reported in May that Indian IT giant Infosys – in which Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty also has a reported £400 million stake – won a deal from the global energy company thought to be the second-largest in the history of the firm.

Despite the company being partly owned by his wife’s family, Sunak previously said the matter is of “no legitimate public interest”.

It comes as the CEO of oil giant Shell also joined Rishi Sunak’s new business council two weeks ago. The Byline Times reported in July 2022 that Infosys had oil giant Shell as a client, too.

READ MORE: Sunak: UK should ‘max out’ developments in North Sea oil and gas

Sunak has been criticised over his announcement of around 100 new licences for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

The plans have been criticised by climate campaigners, opposition parties and even leading green Conservatives amid fears of how they will affect the UK’s mission to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

Tory MP Chris Skidmore, who led the Government’s net-zero review, has said the move is the “on the wrong side of modern voters” and “on the wrong side of history”.

UN chief Antonio Guterres has called countries increasing the production of fossil fuels “truly dangerous radicals”.

But Sunak dismissed the concerns, saying “I 100% believe that what I’m doing is right”.

“What I would say, not just to him (the UN Secretary General) but more generally, is let’s look at the record. Which G7 country out of the large countries of America, Italy, France, Germany, us, Canada, Japan – which of those countries has decarbonised fastest over the past years or decades? Which one? It’s the UK, right?

“So we should not take any lectures from anybody about our record. Our record is fantastic.”

Speaking about the need for oil and gas, he said: “If we’re going to need it, far better to have it here at home rather than shipping it here from half way around the world with two, three, four times, the amount of carbon emissions versus the oil and gas we have here at home.

“So, it is entirely consistent with our plans to get to net zero.”

BP and Infosys have been approached for comment.