Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe

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Jim Ratcliffe, the 65-year-old chemicals entrepreneur, is now the richest man in the UK, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Ratcliffe – previously described as “publicity shy” by the rich list – has leapt up from 18th position last year after seeing his wealth rise by £15.3bn to £21.05bn in a single year.

His increased wealth is down to the successes of Ineos, the London-headquartered chemicals company which is currently locked in a legal battle with the Scottish government over its moratorium on fracking.

Mr Ratcliffe is chairman and CEO. The company’s director Andy Currie and finance director John Reece were also pushed into the list’s top 20, taking joint 6th place with fortunes of £7bn each.

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe (C) tops The Sunday Times rich list Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe skynews jim ratcliffe ineos 4308217
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Ratcliffe’s (C) wealth leapt by £15.3bn last year

In second place were Sri and Gopi Hinduja whose personal wealth was valued at £20.64bn, up £4.44bn from last year.

Sir Len Balvatnik was listed in third place at £15.26bn, after being knighted this year for services to philanthropy.

The top 20 individuals listed on the Rich List are now worth a combined £218.6bn.

Of the 1,000 people on the list, more are billionaires (145) than women (141) with Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken the highest ranked at six with £11.1bn alongside her husband, Michel de Carvalho, the vice chairman of Citigroup.

Meanwhile, disgraced ex-BHS boss Sir Philip Green’s wealth tumbled £787m to £2bn following sales failures at Topshop and Miss Selfridge, as well as a commitment to paying £363m to settle the BHS pension scheme.

drives during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe skynews philip green 4308258
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Sir Philip Green’s wealth dropped by £787m

Jamie Oliver left the rich list completely as his restaurant business is still undergoing restructuring after slipping into more than £70m in debt.

The aristocrat land-owner Hugh Grosvenor, the 7th Duke of Westminster, remains the UK’s youngest billionaire.

The 27-year-old inherited his fortune two years ago through a trust which listed him as a beneficial, rather than legal, owner – exempting him from paying 40% inheritance tax.

The Grosvenor Estate includes large holdings in London, including 300 acres in Mayfair and Belgravia, as well as properties in Oxford, Cheshire, Scotland and Spain.

The Rich List says that his wealth grew by £444m over the last year to £9.96bn.

attends a memorial service for the Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral on November 28, 2016 in Chester, England. Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe skynews hugh grosvenor duke 4308262
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The Duke of Westminster remains the UK’s youngest billionaire at 27

Robert Watts, who compiled the list, said: “Britain is changing. Gone are the days when old money and a small band of industries dominated the Sunday Times Rich List.

“Aristocrats and inherited wealth has been elbowed out of the list and replaced by an army of self-made entrepreneurs.

“Today’s super rich include people who have set up businesses selling chocolate, sushi, pet food and eggs.

“We’re seeing more people from humble backgrounds, who struggled at school or who didn’t even start their businesses until well into middle age.

“Meanwhile, technology is also playing a bigger part in helping more young people make their fortunes and small companies to grow.

“Britain’s rich are getting richer, but the cast of Britain’s 1,000 richest people is an ever-changing and increasingly diverse cast of people.”



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