Sunday Times rich list 2022: Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty enter with £730m fortune

UK chancellor has faced intense scrutiny over his family's financial affairs

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak arrives to attend a Cabinet away day at Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent. Getty Images
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Rishi Sunak may have seen his political fortunes tumble in recent months, but it does not appear to have dented his financial situation.

The UK chancellor and his wife, Akshata Murty, this made the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time with their joint £730 million ($910.38 million) fortune. Russian billionaires, meanwhile, tumbled down this year’s rankings.

There were a record 177 billionaires in the UK, according to the rankings.

Mr Sunak and his wife’s finances have come under intense scrutiny in recent months.

Last month, it was revealed that Ms Murty 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 is estimated that Ms Murty’s non-dom status could have saved her £20 million in taxes on dividends from her shares in Infosys, an Indian IT company founded by her father.

She later agreed to pay UK taxes on her worldwide income.

Mr Sunak was cleared of breaching the ministerial code by Boris Johnson’s standards adviser after considering the tax affairs.

His financial affairs came under particular scrutiny as pressure mounted on him to produce a package of support to ease the cost of living for millions of people struggling with higher food and energy bills. A windfall tax on energy companies is one possibility.

He and his wife donated more than £100,000 to his alma mater, Winchester College, one of the most expensive private schools in Britain.

He also saw his political fortunes dive after he was fined, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, over a breach of Covid regulations at Downing Street.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said it is “fantastic” that Mr Sunak has joined the rich list.

Mr Raab told Times Radio: “He’s a fantastic example of someone who’s been successful in business, who’s coming to make a big impact in public service.

“I think we want more of those people. I think it’s fantastic that you’ve got someone of British-Indian origin, showing all people in our country that you can get to the top of politics.

“And frankly, I think if I understood correctly, the Sunday Times Rich List was a reflection of not just him but his wife. His wife is an incredibly successful entrepreneur in her own right.

“Again someone that’s here, British-Indian, and actually I think we want to see more women succeeding in both business and politics.”

On Friday morning, the Sunday Times Rich List revealed the couple featured at 222 in the list with the joint forecast of £730 million, driven by Ms Murty’s £690 million stake in Infosys.

Meanwhile, Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, jumped to the top of the list after their wealth grew by more than £11 billion to £28.47 billion.

Entrepreneur Sir James Dyson and his family moved up to second in the list after a £6.7 billion increase to £23 billion.

Property investors David and Simon Reuben meanwhile were third with £22.26 billion, while Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik dropped from top spot to fourth.

One notable absentee from the upper reaches of the list is Roman Abramovich.

The former Chelsea FC owner slid from eighth to 28th in the rankings after his finances plummeted from £12.2 billion last year to £6 billion this year after sanctions, the enforced sale of Chelsea and the sharp fall in his Evraz shares.

Fellow Russians Alisher Usmanov and Mikhail Fridman dropped down the list after the value of their assets was hammered by financial measures in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It comes as typical UK households face increased financial pressure from rampant inflation, which struck a 40-year high of 9 per cent in April.

Overall, the richest 250 in the UK this year are worth £710.72 billion, compared with £658.09 billion in 2021, an 8 per cent rise on last year, The Sunday Times said.

The 20 richest people in the UK according to the Sunday Times Rich List

  1. Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family – £28.47 billion
  2. Sir James Dyson and family – £23 billion
  3. David and Simon Reuben and family – £22.26 billion
  4. Sir Leonard Blavatnik – £20 billion
  5. Guillaume Pousaz – £19.26 billion
  6. Lakshmi Mittal and family – £17 billion
  7. Christoph Henkel and family – £15 billion
  8. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family – £13.5 billion
  9. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing – £12 billion
  10. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho – £11.42 billion
  11. Michael Platt – £10 billion
  12. Alisher Usmanov – £10 billion
  13. The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family – £9.73 billion
  14. Barnaby and Merlin Swire and family – £9.6 billion
  15. Marit, Lisbet, Sigrid and Hans Rausing – £9.49 billion
  16. Anil Agarwal – £9.2 billion
  17. Denise, John and Peter Coates – £8.64 billion
  18. John Fredriksen and family – £8.31 billion
  19. Mikhail Fridman – £8.22 billion
  20. Moshe Kantor – £8 billion
Updated: May 20, 2022, 8:43 AM