Politics

Tory Rishi Sunak and his non-dom wife enter Rich List with £730m joint fortune


The couple are the 222nd-richest in the UK according to the Sunday Times – largely driven by Akshata Murty’s £690m stake in the IT firm founded by her dad

The couple are the 222nd-richest in the UK according to the Sunday Times - largely driven by Akshata Murty’s £690m stake
The couple are the 222nd-richest in the UK according to the Sunday Times – largely driven by Akshata Murty’s £690m stake

Rishi Sunak and his multi-millionaire non-dom wife have made the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time with a joint £730m fortune.

The pair entered the list of the UK’s 250 richest people at number 222 – mostly driven by Akshata Murty’s £690m stake in Infosys, founded by her father.

It comes weeks after Ms Murty U-turned and announced she would pay UK tax on her overseas income after a furious backlash.

She was not thought to have paid UK tax on £11.6m in dividend income from the firm last year.

That is because she is a non-domiciled (non-dom) UK resident – and chose to pay taxes on foreign income in India, instead of in the UK.

The revelation sparked claims of hypocrisy from the Chancellor’s family at a time when he is putting up taxes on Brits. As a non-dom she could have chosen to tax her Indian income in the UK, and did not.

Announcing a change last month, Ms Murty said: “I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and I do not wish my tax status to be a distraction for my husband or to affect my family.”

She said she would pay UK tax on all her foreign income effective immediately, and backdated to the last tax year.







Ms Murty U-turned and announced she would pay UK tax on her overseas income after a furious backlash
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Image:

PA)

Labour had argued Ms Murty was benefitting from a status which – while legal – is used mostly by the very wealthy to minimise tax liabilities. Ms Murty had been paying £30,000 a year to maintain her status.

Mr Sunak – who was cleared of breaching the Ministerial Code – had insisted the criticism of his wife was a smear by the Labour Party.

He said: “She loves her country. Like I love mine, I would never dream of giving up my British citizenship. And I imagine most people wouldn’t.”

Mr Sunak added: “To smear my wife to get at me is awful.”

Today’s annual list showed Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, jumped to No1 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 were third with £22.26 billion, while Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik dropped from top spot to fourth.







Entrepreneur Sir James Dyson and his family moved up to second in the list
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PA)







Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, jumped to No1
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Image:

Rex Features)

One notable absentee from the top of the list is Roman Abramovich.

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

The latest ranking of the 250 richest people in Britain also revealed a record 177 billionaires in the UK this year, up from 2021.

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

Overall, the richest 250 in the UK this year are worth £710.72 billion, compared to £658.09 billion in 2021, an 8% rise on last year.

The IPPR think tank said the rich must be taxed more heavily on their wealth through a rise on capital gains tax to make it match income tax.

Member George Dibbs added: “It’s also time for a fair, proportional property tax to replace the regressive system of council tax.

“Those with the broadest shoulders should be contributing more.”

Nicknamed “Dishy Rishi” by his fans, the Chancellor has long been tipped as a potential successor for Boris Johnson but his popularity has plummeted as cost of living pain hits.

A YouGov poll put his net favourability rating down 24 points in the two weeks after the Spring Statement in March. By May 12 just 19% thought he was doing a good job and 47% thought he was doing a bad job.

The Chancellor was widely mocked for posing for pictures to promote a temporary fuel duty cut using someone else’s car.

Cameras also captured the embarrassing moment the Chancellor struggled to use his bank card as he was buying the petrol.

Mr Sunak begins his days with a Britney Spears-soundtracked workout on his £1,750 Peloton exercise bike, led virtually by hunky Brooklyn exercise guru Cody Rigsby.

He posed in £95 ‘slider’ shoes in a photo op and posed for a pre-Budget photo after the ravages of Covid while sipping from a £180 Bluetooth ‘smart mug’.

The millionaire Chancellor claimed his family drives a Volkswagen Golf, but it later emerged it was one of four vehicles he owns – a Lexus, Range Rover and BMW.

Last year Mr Sunak and Ms Murty won permission to build a private swimming pool, gym and tennis court at their Grade II-listed £1.5m manor in North Yorkshire.

The couple applied for a new stone building on a paddock to house a gym, a 12-metre by 5-metre swimming pool, four showers and utilities and storage rooms.

There will also be a “wildlife area” and a 16-metre by 27-metre tennis court. There is no suggestion he will claim any taxpayer cash for the work, which is on his private home not an official government residence.

The home boasts a sweeping driveway and large private pond.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Times Radio: “Rishi Sunak is a fantastic example of someone who’s been successful in business who’s come in 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.”

He added: “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.”

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