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Sunday Times Rich List: Rishi Sunak leapfrogs King Charles in latest rankings

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Rishi Sunak has overtaken the King in the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

The personal fortune of the prime minister and his wife Akshata Murty has soared by more than £120m over the past year – to a total of £651m, according to the newspaper’s calculations.

In contrast, the King’s wealth grew from £600m to £610m over the same period.

However, The Sunday Times claimed the UK’s mega rich are dwindling and that Britain’s “billionaire boom has come to an end”.

Published on Friday, the list reveals the largest fall in billionaires in the guide’s history – from a peak of 177 in 2022 to 165 this year.

While the combined wealth of the list’s 350 wealthiest individuals amounts to more than £795bn – larger than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Poland – the guide’s compiler says time will tell what impact a drop in billionaires could have.

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“This year’s Sunday Times Rich List suggests Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end,” Robert Watts said.

“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.”

Top of the list is British-Indian businessman Gopi Hinduja and his family, whose wealth of £37.2bn is the largest fortune in the ranking’s history.

Gopi Hinduja and his brother Sri topped the list this year
Image:
Gopi Hinduja and his family topped the list this year. Pic: PA

But other familiar names in the list saw their riches fall, with Sir Richard Branson’s total dropping by £2.4bn, which is back to his 2000 level.

Last year’s top climber Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who bought a stake in Manchester United this year, fell two positions with a decline of £6.1bn.

File photo dated 17-03-2023 of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has completed his deal to purchase a stake in Manchester United, the club have announced. Issue date: Tuesday February 20, 2024.
Image:
Sir Jim Ratcliffe bought a stake in Manchester United. Pic :PA

Among those falling out of the billionaire club is Stephen Fitzpatrick, who owns OVO, one of the biggest energy firms in the UK.

The Sunday Times reports he made a £1.3bn loss since last year, while his shares in his flying taxi venture are down 60%.

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Joining the list of billionaires is Sir Paul McCartney, who has become the first UK musician to achieve that status after boosting his wealth by £50m.

This came after a year of touring and the lucrative value of his back catalogue, along with covers by Beyonce.

The biggest riser came in the form of the Barnaby and Merlin Swire family, whose 200-year-old business made £8.8bn.

Paul McCartney performs at Glastonbury Festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Saturday, June 25, 2022. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
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Sir Paul McCartney has become the first billionaire musician from the UK. Pic: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

“These may be harder times to create wealth, but The Sunday Times Rich List continues to unearth entrepreneurs building fortunes in diverse and often surprising ways,” Mr Watts said.

“This year’s new entries include people who have made money from artificial intelligence and virtual worlds as well as plumbing supplies and teaching aides.”

Euan Blair, Tony Blair’s eldest son, made the list for the first time, as did Sir Lewis Hamilton.

It comes as the UK continues to deal with a cost-of-living crisis, with new figures this week revealing a record 3.1 million food bank parcels were distributed over the course of a year.

The top 10:

1. Gopi Hinduja – £37.2bn

2. Sir Leonard Blavtanik – £29.2bn

3. David and Simon Reuben and family – £24.9bn

4. Sir Jim Ratcliffe – £23.5bn

5. Sir James Dyson and family – £20.8bn

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

7. Idan Ofer – £14.9bn

8. Lakshmi Mittal and family – £14.9bn

9. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family – £14.4bn

10. John Fredriksen and family – £12.8bn

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