Sunday Times Rich List suggests UK's wealthiest defy recession

Lakshmi Mittal Mr Mittal retains top spot despite his company's share price crashing this year

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The UK's richest people have defied the double-dip recession to become even richer over the past year, according to the annual Sunday Times Rich List.

The newspaper's research found the combined worth of the country's 1,000 wealthiest people is £414bn, up 4.7%.

It means their joint wealth has passed the level last seen in 2008, before the financial crash, to set a new record.

Top spot for the eighth straight year is held by Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, 61, with £12.7bn.

There are now 77 billionaires on the list, with individuals needing to have at least £72m to make the top 1,000.

The richest billionaire of all, Mr Mittal, retains his position despite seeing 27% of his family fortune wiped out in the last 12 months because of a drop in the share price of their steel producing business.

The Mittal family have held the number one spot in the list since 2005.

Britain's richest top 10

  • Lakshmi Mittal and family - £12.7bn.
  • Alisher Usmanov - £12.3bn.
  • Roman Abramovich - £9.5bn.
  • Sri and Gopi Hinduja - £8.6bn.
  • Leonard Blavatnik - £7.58bn.
  • Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli - £7.4bn.
  • The Duke of Westminster - £7.35bn.
  • David and Simon Reuben - £7.08bn.
  • John Fredriksen and family - £6.6bn.
  • Galen and George Weston and family - £5.9bn.

Another person who has made money from the metal industry, Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, is second with £12.3bn, while Chelsea owner and oil baron Roman Abramovich is third with £9.5bn, despite being £800m down on last year.

The richest woman is former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli, who shares a £7.4bn fortune with her husband Ernesto, while the Duke of Westminster's property portfolio makes him worth £7.3bn.

Several leading British entrepreneurs, who are further down the list, have seen their wealth increase this year.

Diamond retailer Laurence Graff's wealth has risen to £3,300m while Sir Anthony Bamford, owner of the JCB earth-moving machinery firm, has seen his fortune go up to £3,150m.

Sir Paul McCartney (right) and new wife Nancy Shevell Sir Paul McCartney's wedding to heiress Nancy Shevell boosts his position in the list

Inventor Sir James Dyson, who created the bagless vacuum cleaner, has also seen his wealth increase, to £2,650m.

Some of Britain's best-known performers and artists have also seen their fortunes improve.

Sir Paul McCartney's recent marriage to his third wife Nancy Shevell, who is the daughter of an American trucking magnate, sees him become the third wealthiest man in British music, as their combined wealth is now rated at £665m.

The two people surpassing him are music executive Clive Calder, who is worth £1,350m, and theatre owner and producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, whose fortune has gone up to £725m.

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling's worth has risen by £30m in the last year to £560m, putting her 148th on the list, and a new addition to the list is London-based founder of the Spotify music website Daniel Ek, ranked 395th with a fortune of £190m - the same amount as David and Victoria Beckham.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 683.

    Wow, what a story - people with money to invest make money. In other BBC news 'It might rain somewhere tomorrow', 'The sky is blue' and 'Shock as woman gives birth to child'.

    Also, it is a story repeated from another source of journalism. What does the licence fee pay for?

  • rate this

    Comment number 682.

    UK corporations tax contribution comes to a measly 7% of all UK tax. These foreign billionaires are not only laundering their ill gotten gains via UK financial institutions but they pay next to no tax on that income either.

    Corporations and their owners/directors need to start being a part of society instead of preying on it and seeing the UK as a hapless victim waiting to be exploited.

  • rate this

    Comment number 681.

    Yawn. This isn't "new" news, its been happening for at least a decade, if not more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 680.

    So let me get this right, all those in the highest rated comments on this subject wouldn't accept these riches if they were given to them, and, the existing rich list only came into being under a tory govt' and not under Labour, (what number is Tony Blair on the list?)

  • rate this

    Comment number 679.

    This news only makes people get jealous. It doesn’t help our economy directly.

    What we can do:-

    1. To improve our taxation system to tax rich people more

    2. To encourage rich people make more contributions to our society and help our economy.

    3. To create good investment channels to rich people, not through charity donations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 678.

    It does not matter how much tax is paid when too much money is lost from payer to those who have to have it .The real parasites are the functionairies with copper bottomed jobs .The most important thing for putting more money at the disposal of the people is to reduce drastically the cost of government .In truth we are rules by civil servants our politicians are not our real rulers

  • rate this

    Comment number 677.

    Of course the rich are getting richer. The U.K. is one of the biggest tax havens in the world for the super rich. And the super rich gravitate towards the U.K. they don't contribute to our economy they just use the U.K. in a parasitic relationship. The stupid thing is the rabid right wingers, and you know who I mean believe that this is showing that life under the Tories is successful, the fools

  • rate this

    Comment number 676.

    674. Ronnie M

    The more they have the less we have."

    Sorry, but that's totally incorrect. Money isn't a fixed sum, it's a variable amount.

    It's as daft as saying one person gets unhealthier the more healthier another gets.

    Some understanding of economics and finance will do a lot of the voting public well. It'd be nice to see people basing their vote on something they genuinely understand.

  • rate this

    Comment number 675.


    .... and not a penny paid in tax.

  • rate this

    Comment number 674.

    I've always wondered why they need so much. "

    The more they have the less we have. It makes us value what we have more, and it gives them the power to decide how much we have to value. Money is worthless without the worthless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 673.

    I have no problem with people becoming wealthy on the back of their labours, nor with passing that wealth to your family.
    My problem is with a global finance system that licences private companies monopoly rights to print the means by which we exchange our labours (money), thus passing complete control of nations' wealth creation (trade) to them for the exclusive benefit of the already wealthy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 672.

    426. HELEN_of_TROY

    I have all of these things, too. But if these austerity measures continue then we less rich people won't be able to afford these things.

    The price of having water, fuel to heat it, goods & services, food & furniture are all rising faster than wages. I've had no rise for over 3 years, soon it will be a toss up between fuel to heat the house, fuel for the car, or food...

  • rate this

    Comment number 671.

    Money is like water; there is only a set amount in the world

    You've been listening to Theresa May again.
    The supply of money for any currency issuing entity is essentially infinite, it can always print more but just because it can, it doesn't mean it should

  • rate this

    Comment number 670.

    Helen of Troy, you may have these 'riches' available, but you dont seem to be very smart. Rich people have all the things you mention, and lots of money too. Now thats rich!

  • rate this

    Comment number 669.


    Am I alone in finding this fact hard to reconcile with the Government’s claim that it is essential to reduce marginal tax rates for the super-rich in order to prevent them from leaving the UK for foreign parts?"

    Those rich that want to go, go - as a matter of routine. Those that only threaten to go either can't or won't.

  • rate this

    Comment number 668.

    Reading through the comments there still seems to be a lot of idealistic posters who are going to sleep walk into voting Labour at the next election expecting that something will change.

    It won't.

    Miliband and Balls have already signed up to the austerity agenda, it is just that they want to spread the pain over many more years than the current lot.

    If you really want change vote differently.

  • rate this

    Comment number 667.

    Tsunami of Logic should be ignored at all costs. (!! ??)

    I don't have a problem with wealth, as long as those people aren't generating it from an overworked and poorly paid workforce. The difference in pay from the shop floor to the boardroom is usually obscene and boardroom pay rarely reflects performance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 666.

    Does it matter how rich the richest few are? The lot of the majority is what matters!

  • rate this

    Comment number 665.

    a tax system which is supposed to be redistributive and progressive is not so in practice and the burden of indirect taxation such as VAT and import duties counters any marginal progression in direct taxes.

    The tax system has hot been this any time since the 60's

    Soup anyone

  • rate this

    Comment number 664.


    Well said.

    As long ago as the 60s we were being warned of the effects that 'automation' would have. Add to that a rising population globally,& finite resources ultimately, & we've a'perfect storm' brewing, if not quite here yet.

    Nice to see hedge fund mangers & purveyors of expensive jewellery doing well though. Maybe diamonds are truly 'someone's' best friend after all??


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