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‘Migrant hotel king’ enters Britain’s rich list with £750m fortune after cashing in on asylum seeker crisis – as £37.2bn Hinduja family still top list, Rishi Sunak and King’s wealth grows and ‘richest gypsy’ Alfie Best nears first billion

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The ‘king’ of Britain’s migrant hotels has a soaring £750million fortune that has catapulted him into Britain’s Rich List for the first time in 2024, it was revealed today.

Graham King, a former caravan park and disco tycoon, is believed to be making £3.5million a day – all from the taxpayer – for accommodating and transporting arrivals due to the UK’s migrant crisis.

He has amassed a personal fortune of £750million from housing asylum seekers and his holiday parks – making him the 221st richest person in the UK, according to the Sunday Times’ annual rich list.

He is expected to become Britain’s first immigration industry billionaire because he has a contract with the Home Office that will last until September 2029. 

Alfie Best – Britain’s richest gypsy – has a fortune of £947million, according to the Sunday Times, having invested in US-style caravan parks and billing them as a solution to Britain’s social housing crisis. His wealth is up £202million from £745million.

It came just weeks after he emigrated to tax haven Monaco and told MailOnline: ‘It is no longer Great Britain but Broken Britain. If you are a successful businessman, you are punished by the taxman and I have had enough’.

The list of Britain’s 350 wealthiest individuals and families together hold combined wealth of £795.36 billion, according to the new data. Some have joked it could be called ‘The Rishi List’ – after the PM and his wife Akshata Murty’s fortune surged by more than £120 million over the past year. 

King Charles has also seen his fortune rise by £10million to £610million – but the overall number of billionaires in the UK appears to have peaked and now dropped.

The Hindujas have again topped Britain’s rich list – and are worth £2billion more than a year ago with an extraordinary net worth of £37.2billion in 2024. The family, led by Indian-British billionaire businessman Gopi Hinduja, boss of the Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group continue to make money hand over fist from media and finance to energy and cars.

£750million: This is Graham King, a former caravan park and disco tycoon. He has made a fortune thanks to a Home Office contract to house asylum seekers. His company Clearsprings also runs consultancy services, caravan parks and taxi firms

Inspectors previously described one of his sites, Penally Camp in Wales, as 'decrepit' and filthy

Inspectors previously described one of his sites, Penally Camp in Wales, as ‘decrepit’ and filthy

£947million: Britain's richest gypsy Alfie Best is rising up the Sunday Times - just weeks after he moved to Monaco and told MailOnline he won't return to 'Broken Britain'

£947million: Britain’s richest gypsy Alfie Best is rising up the Sunday Times – just weeks after he moved to Monaco and told MailOnline he won’t return to ‘Broken Britain’

Alfie Best's company Wyldecrest owns more than 90 caravan and static home parks across the UK, Europe and the US, including Tremarle Park in Cornwall

Alfie Best’s company Wyldecrest owns more than 90 caravan and static home parks across the UK, Europe and the US, including Tremarle Park in Cornwall 

£37.2billion: Sri Hinduja (L) and Gopi Hinduja have seen their personal fortune rise by £2billion in a year. The Hinduja Group is a conglomerate with operations in a number of industries, including media, finance, energy and cars

£37.2billion: Sri Hinduja (L) and Gopi Hinduja have seen their personal fortune rise by £2billion in a year. The Hinduja Group is a conglomerate with operations in a number of industries, including media, finance, energy and cars

Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has become the first billionaire musician from the UK, at the age of 81, up £50million since 2023, while Harry Potter author JK Rowling is approaching her first £1billion with an estimated wealth of £945million.

Hugh Grosvenor, 33, the seventh Duke of Westminster, is the richest person under 40 on the list with £10.1 billion at the age of 33. The duke, who is Prince George’s godfather, inherited his title and a vast land and property portfolio at the age of 25.

Graham King’s entry marks an extraordinary turn around for him and his family. 

At the turn of the century he was running a caravan park in Canvey Island, Essex, with his brother. 

He branched out after a disco he ran lost its licence and he suggested he could use the building – a former cinema – to house refugees instead.

His firm made the news when a council chose to house benefit claimants in its caravans. It was also in the firing line when inspectors found it was putting up asylum seekers in ‘decrepit’ and ‘run-down’ conditions at a former barracks in Kent and an Army camp in Pembrokeshire.

Mr King’s wealth has put his son and daughter through a £44,000-a-year boarding school and funded the family’s globe-trotting holidays and Alpine ski trips.  His daughter Catalina is studying to be an artist and her creations include £10 prints bearing the slogan ‘Will trade racists for refugees’.

Alfie Best – Britain’s richest gypsy – has a fortune of £947million, according to the Sunday Times.

He said three weeks ago: ‘It is true I will not pay any income tax….I am going to start a business here and have no intention of returning to the UK.’ 

As someone who has enjoyed the spoils of fabulous wealth, from a personal helicopter with the registration G-PSYE to a fleet of luxury cars, Best knows he will fit in perfectly well among the rich and famous who call Monaco their home

As someone who has enjoyed the spoils of fabulous wealth, from a personal helicopter with the registration G-PSYE to a fleet of luxury cars, Best knows he will fit in perfectly well among the rich and famous who call Monaco their home

Mr Best was born into a gypsy Romany family in a caravan at the side of the road, he left school at the age of 12 and his first job was helping his father sell tarmac door-to door

Mr Best, pictured with his luxury cars, was born into a gypsy Romany family in a caravan at the side of the road, he left school at the age of 12 and his first job was helping his father sell tarmac door-to door

Mr Best, pictured with his luxury cars, was born into a gypsy Romany family in a caravan at the side of the road, he left school at the age of 12 and his first job was helping his father sell tarmac door-to door

Mr Best, pictured as a child with his parents, was born into poverty in a Leicester caravan

Mr Best, pictured as a child with his parents, was born into poverty in a Leicester caravan

Best – who points out that he will still be paying corporation tax on all his UK businesses despite his personal change of circumstances – says he was more motivated to leave the country by the state of what he calls ‘Broken Britain’.

Born into a gypsy Romany family in a caravan at the side of the road he left school at the age of 12 and his first job was helping his father sell tarmac door-to door.

At the age of 17 he became a car dealer before opening a chain of mobile phone shops which he later sold for a large profit.

It was the springboard to set up Wyldecrest Parks and he established his first mobile home park in Essex at the age of 30.

In just over two decades he has built an empire of more than 100 mobile home sites from Scotland to Cornwall with 16,000 residents and a staff of 400.

Annual profits are £70m a year and the success catapulted him into the Sunday Times rich list as one of Britain’s most successful businessman.

The father of two also has an extensive property portfolio, including ten villas in Barbados that are rented out to tourists and a Hertfordshire golf course.

His back story has led to appearance on ‘Undercover Boss’ and a documentary on Amazon called ‘Gypsy Billionaire’ and charting his success.

While he has quit the UK, he has retained his £7m mansion in Surrey where his wife Emily-Jane lives.

Gopi Hinduja and his family saw their wealth rise to £37.2 billion for the year from £35 billion – but a number of the UK’s highest profile billionaires including Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Sir James Dyson and Sir Richard Branson all saw their fortunes shrink.

But despite a challenging period for many businesses and investments. The personal fortune of the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty surged by more than £120 million over the past year.

Mr Sunak and Ms Murty’s wealth was £651million in the latest list, soaring from £529 million in 2023.

The latest annual Sunday Times Rich List revealed their wealth grew substantially despite the wider UK billionaire boom coming ‘to an end’ in the face of tough economic conditions. 

Graham King won Home Office contracts to provide accommodation for ever-growing numbers of refugees

Graham King won Home Office contracts to provide accommodation for ever-growing numbers of refugees

A group of protestors outside one of his London hotels in January after around 400 asylum seekers were set to be moved

A group of protestors outside one of his London hotels in January after around 400 asylum seekers were set to be moved

Migrants are pictured arriving at Dover after being brought ashore by UK officials. Mr King helps house many arrivals

Migrants are pictured arriving at Dover after being brought ashore by UK officials. Mr King helps house many arrivals

Mr King's daughter sells art pledging: 'Will trade racists for refugees'

Mr King’s daughter sells art pledging: ‘Will trade racists for refugees’

Manchester United investor and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe was the biggest faller on the list, with his net worth dropping by over £6 billion to £23.52 billion.

Sir James Dyson was the second largest faller, with the entrepreneur witnessing a drop to £20.8 billion from £23 billion.

Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson saw his wealth fall further, dropping to £2.4 billion from £4.2 billion after a challenging year for Virgin Galactic.

The Sunaks have bucked the trend. 

The rise was linked to Ms Murty’s small stake in Infosys, the $70billion (£55.3 billion) Indian IT giant co-founded by her billionaire father. Her shares grew in value by £108.8 million to nearly £590 million for the year.

The couple’s wealth however still remains below its level from 2022, when it sat at around £730 million for the year.

It came as the list of the richest people in Great Britain showed that King Charles‘ wealth also grew for the year, rising to £610 million from £600 million.

The list recorded that the number of British billionaires tumbled again, continuing a theme seen in 2023.

The number of billionaires reached a peak of 177 in 2022, before dropping to 171 and falling again to 165 this year, driven by some seeing their private wealth contract amid high borrowing rates and others leaving the country.

Robert Watts, compiler of the rich list, said: ‘This year’s Sunday Times Rich List suggests Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end.

‘Many of our home-grown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super rich who came here are moving away.

‘Thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent.

‘We’ll have to wait and see whether we have now reached peak billionaire, and what that means for our economy.’

Harry Styles and Dua Lipa are among a number of celebrities who feature in the first edition of The Sunday Times 40 Under 40 Rich List.

The news outlet has also published its annual rich list, which is included in a 76-page special edition of its Sunday magazine, revealing the wealth of the 350 richest individuals and families in Britain.

At the age of 33, and in 10th place on the 40 Under 40 list, is Shape Of You singer Ed Sheeran, who has been crowned the richest young musician in the UK with £340 million.

Sir James Dyson was the second largest faller, with the entrepreneur witnessing a drop to £20.8 billion from £23 billion.

Sir James Dyson was the second largest faller, with the entrepreneur witnessing a drop to £20.8 billion from £23 billion.

Manchester United investor and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe was the biggest faller on the list, with his net worth dropping by over £6 billion to £23.52 billion.

Sir Richard Branson saw his wealth fall further, dropping to £2.4 billion from £4.2 billion after a challenging year for Virgin Galactic.

Manchester United investor and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe was the biggest faller on the list, with his net worth dropping by over £6 billion to £23.52 billion. Sir Richard Branson saw his wealth fall further, dropping to £2.4 billion from £4.2 billion after a challenging year for Virgin Galactic.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling saw her fortune rise by £70 million to £945 million

Harry Potter author JK Rowling saw her fortune rise by £70 million to £945 million

Ed Sheeran, pictured celebrating a goal for his beloved Ipswich Town, has been crowned the richest young musician in the UK with £340 million

Ed Sheeran, pictured celebrating a goal for his beloved Ipswich Town, has been crowned the richest young musician in the UK with £340 million

The next wealthiest UK pop star under the age of 40 is former One Direction member Styles, 30, who made his £175 million through music and film appearances.

The Brit award-winner, who appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, has also invested in Manchester-based music venue, Co-Op Live, which opened on May 14 following a number of setbacks.

The As It Was singer is placed joined 17th on the list alongside boxing star Anthony Joshua.

In the 19th spot is 16-time Grammy-winner Adele with £170 million.

The Tottenham-born singer began a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Los Angeles in 2022, which will come to an end in November this year.

Joint 29th is actor Daniel Radcliffe and pop star Lipa, 28, with a respective £90 million.

Lipa, who will perform a headline slot at Glastonbury Festival in June, recently released her third studio album Radical Optimism which soared to the number one spot on the official UK albums chart.

Radcliffe, 34, made his millions when he shot to fame as a child star playing the title character in the Harry Potter film series, adapted from the novels created by JK Rowling.

Topping the list, which showcases British talent from music, sport, entertainment, and business, is Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster, with £10.1 billion.

The duke, who is Prince George’s godfather, inherited his title and a vast land and property portfolio at the age of 25.

The majority of the people on the 40 Under 40 list made their millions on their own, but nine were born into money, according to The Sunday Times.

The top nine on the list also feature in the main Sunday Times Rich List, where the minimum figure for entry is £350 million.

Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: ‘Despite the tougher business environment, we have many impressive entrepreneurial stories in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

‘We know our readers are particularly fascinated by those from humbler backgrounds who start their own businesses, work hard and go on to build profitable businesses.

‘Our 40 under 40 list includes individuals who have quickly built fortunes from fashion, vodka, sport, and increasingly the tech sector and AI.

‘Many of these young guns are already employing hundreds of people and some will go on to be the future of the British economy.’

£10.1 billion The 7th Duke of Westminster Hugh Grosvenor, is set to marry his fiancee Olivia Henson in June. He is the richest young person on the list at the age of 33

The 2024 Sunday Times Rich List charts the wealth of the 350 richest people in the UK and the list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies.

It excludes bank accounts, to which the outlet has said it has no access.

The 40 Under 40 List includes individuals with the biggest fortunes aged 40 or under as of May 1 this year.

Anders Holch Povlsen has been named the richest person in Scotland for the third year in a row, the Sunday Times Rich List 2024 has disclosed.

The fashion tycoon topped the list yet again, despite seeing his fortune shrink by nearly £2 billion over the past year, and he is now worth £6.3 billion, compared with £8.5 billion last year.

The Danish billionaire is the chief executive of clothing retailer Bestseller – boasting brands such as Jack & Jones, which was founded by his father Troels Holch Povlsen in 1975.

He also holds a large stake in online fashion retailer Asos.

Mr Povlsen is closely followed by whisky tycoon Glenn Gordon and Family in second place, who saw his net worth increase by just over £1 billion in the last year to £5.6 billion.

Sir Ian Wood and family remain in third place, having seen their fortune increase by £91 million to just over £1.9 billion.

Highland Spring owner Mahdi Al-Tajir, whose value rose £4m to £1.6 billion, moves up one place into fourth, into the spot occupied last year by former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, who died in August 2023.

Lady Philomena Clark and family, owners of car retailer Arnold Clark, saw their fortune decrease by £310 million over the past year, putting their worth at just over £1.5 billion and in fifth place on the list.

Britain’s Rich List 2024 

1. Gopi Hinduja and family – £37.2 billion

Britain’s richest family made its fortune from the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, which spans business sectors including banking and finance, media and entertainment, and energy and has about 200,000 staff around the world.

The family’s fortune is the largest ever recorded in the list.

2. Sir Leonard Blavatnik – £29.25 billion

The second-richest Briton is a Ukrainian-born business magnate and philanthropist who built up his fortune in Russia.

He took Warner Music public in June 2020 after buying it in 2011.

3. David and Simon Reuben and family – £24.98 billion

The billionaire brothers made their money through property and technology with their private equity and investment business Reuben Brothers.

The brothers were born in Mumbai and raised in the UK.

4. Sir Jim Ratcliffe – £23.52 billion

Manchester United part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the founder and chairman of global chemicals company Ineos, which was formed in 1998.

The Manchester-born businessman controls football operations at the club after acquiring a minority stake in February of this year.

He has dropped from second to fourth in the list after his wealth fell by more than £6 billion.

5. Sir James Dyson and family – £20.8 billion

English inventor and entrepreneur Sir James Dyson is well known for founding technology firm Dyson and inventing the cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner in the 1970s.

He has since moved into the beauty industry, with his line of hair tools proving particularly popular.

6. Barnaby and Merlin Swire and family – £17.2 billion

The Swire family’s fortune stems from Swire Group, a global business spanning property, transport and industrials.

Eton-educated chairman Barnaby Swire is the cousin of Merlin Swire, both sixth-generation descendants of the group’s founder.

7. Idan Ofer – £14.96 billion

Israeli billionaire businessman Idan Ofer is one of two sons of shipping magnate Sammy Ofer. His father, who died in 2011, was once Israel’s richest man.

He has interests in shipping, energy, and a minority stake in Spanish football club Atletico de Madrid.

8. Lakshmi Mittal and family – £14.92 billion

Indian-born Mr Mittal is the chairman of ArcelorMittal, a multinational steel company headquartered in Luxembourg and the largest steel manufacturer in Europe, North and South America.

He owns mansions on Kensington Palace Gardens, one of the most expensive streets in the world, and is a co-owner of Queen’s Park Rangers football club.

9. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family – £14.49 billion

The Weston family has developed most of its wealth through investing in retail. It has a stake in Associated British Foods, which owns Primark and produces sugar, run by son George Weston.

10. John Fredriksen and family – £12.87 billion

John Fredriksen is a Norway-born shipping magnate who owns oil tankers and investments in fish farming, dry bulkers and deepwater drilling rigs.

11. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing – £12.63 billion

Kirsten Rausing also benefited from inheritance, with a stake in her grandfather’s packaging business Tetra Laval, which revolutionised storing drinks like milk and orange juice in cartons over glass bottles.

The Swedish businesswoman is heavily involved in horse racing and her husband Jorn Rausing co-owns Tetra Laval.

12. Alex Gerko – £12.05 billion

Moscow-born mathematician Alex Gerko founded algorithmic trading company XTX Markets in 2015, which grew rapidly in the UK and has offices globally, including in New York City, Paris and Mumbai.

13. Michael Platt – £12 billion

Preston-born financier Michael Platt is the co-founder and chief executive of hedge fund BlueCrestCapital Management, one of the world’s largest and top performing investment firms.

14. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho – £11.75 billion

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is a Dutch businesswoman and one of the richest women in the world after inheriting nearly a quarter stake in beer giant Heineken from her late father Freddy Heineken.

Her husband and former Olympic skier Michel de Carvalho sits on the board of the business.

15. The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family – £10.13 billion

The 33-year-old Hugh Grosvenor is the seventh Duke of Westminster and became an instant billionaire when he inherited his title and control of the historic Grosvenor Estate from his father in 2016.

He was crowned the richest person under 40 in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

16. Marit, Lisbet and Sigrid Rausing – £9.19 billion

Marit Rausing is the widow of Hans Ruasing, who built up the Tetra Pak packaging business founded by his father in 1944. Lisbet and Sigrid are their children.

17. Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family – £9.17 billion

Singapore-born Carrie Perrodo inherited one of the world’s largest family-owned oil companies, Perenco, after the death of her husband Hubert Perrodo in 2006.

Her son, amateur racing driver Francois Perrodo, is now the chairman of Perenco.

18. Nicky Oppenheimer and family – £7.94 billion

Nicky Oppenheimer sold his family’s stake in De Beers, the biggest diamond producer in the world, in 2012.

He was the third generation of the family to run De Beers, taking the company private in 2001.

19. Lord Bamford and family – £7.65 billion

Lord Bamford runs JCB, the multibillion-pound construction equipment manufacturer he took over from his father, Joseph Cyril Bamford, in the 1970s.

A major political donor, he is also the director of the Centre for Policy Studies think tank.

20. Denise, John and Peter Coates – £7.47 billion

Denise Coates is the co-founder, majority shareholder and co-chief executive of Bet365, one of the world’s largest online gambling companies, having been born into a family running betting shops in Stoke-on-Trent.

Peter Coates is her father and John Coates is her brother and joint-chief executive.

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