Rich list shows wealthiest flocking to live in Britain

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The Independent Online

A record number of billionaires are living in Britain, after an influx of overseas-born businessmen and a surge in the private wealth of the UK's richest people.

The rich list annual survey of Britain's wealthiest people has found there are 54 billionaires who live in the UK or British territories - a table headed by the steel magnate and former Labour Party donor Lakshmi Mittal, who has amassed a £14.8bn fortune.

Of those, 20 were born abroad but base themselves in the UK, including entrepreneurs such as Roman Abramovich, the Russian-born owner of Chelsea Football Club, who is worth £10.8bn, and the Indian-born Hinduja brothers, jointly worth £3.6bn.

The survey, published by The Sunday Times, also discloses that the Queen had an unexpected present to mark her 80th birthday last week; her fortune grew by £30m last year to £300m, thanks to a healthier stock market and a sharp rise in land and property prices.

The combined wealth of the country's richest 1,000 now stands at £301bn, an increase of more than 20 per cent on last year. This is one of the largest rises since the list was first published in 1989.

However, the top five remained the same for 2005 as for the year before, with Mr Mittal, Mr Abramovich, the Duke of Westminster on £6.6bn, the food packaging magnate Hans Rausing at £4.95bn, and the retailers Philip and Tina Green with £4.9bn.

Donations by the 30 most generous benefactors grew 36 per cent to £453m.