Mystery super-rich family celebrate Boris Johnson’s election win by buying £65m London townhouse

Buyers waited until Conservative majority assured before signing on dotted line

Joe Sommerlad
Saturday 14 December 2019 13:17
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General election 2019: How the night unfolded

An unnamed family bought a central London townhouse on Friday for £65m in the confidence that Boris Johnson had secured a landslide general election victory.

The deal is understood to be one of the most expensive ever transacted on the UK residential property market, with the buyers delaying signing off on the luxury home until a Tory majority was assured.

Gary Hersham of Beauchamp Estates, the estate agency that negotiated the sale, declined to give further details or even specify precisely where the house is situated, but did tell the Guardian that his firm had enjoyed an influx of calls from its wealthy clientele in the immediate aftermath of Britain waking up to a Conservative majority government, seeing off the threat of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Mr Corbyn had pledged to make Britain’s top earners pay more if he secured the keys to No 10, promising new taxes, capital controls and increased scrutiny of private schools.

But his failure at the ballot box saw the collective riches of Britain’s 16 billionaires – including the likes of James Dyson, Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley and petrochemicals tycoon James Ratcliffe – rise by £2.1bn on Friday as share prices soared, according to a Bloomberg index.

John Caudwell, billionaire founder of Phones4U, was delighted at the outcome after promising to leave the UK for the French Riviera back in April in the event of a Labour triumph, which he believed would be a “complete fiasco”.

“If Corbyn wanted to start taxing more extensively than already, my appetite or tolerance to pay much more than I’m already paying is not very big,” Mr Caudwell told Spear’s magazine. “We’d just go and live in the south of France or Monaco. Why stay here and be raped?”

Yesterday, he was jubilant, writing on Twitter: “Excellent news. Now Britain can finally move forward, both with Brexit and with securing stability and economic growth for our great nation.”

Also toasting Mr Johnson’s win was billionaire brokerage founder and Tory donor Michael Spencer, who reportedly threw a lavish champagne bash at the exclusive seafood restaurant Scott’s in Mayfair on Thursday night, attended by some 200 guests.

Mr Spencer called the result a “crushing national repudiation of the dangerous and divisive neo-Marxist policies” of Mr Corbyn and the Labour hierarchy in a press statement.

Overall, the general election result was being welcomed by figures representing British enterprise.

“Business in general will really appreciate the clarity,” Jeremy Isaacs of private equity firm JRJ Group told Bloomberg. “Markets should react positively that the Corbyn risk is gone and we should see foreign direct investment flowing into the country.”

“There is political stability and clarity,” agreed John Elder of Family Office Advisors. “The UK is now an undervalued country to invest in for at least the next five years.”

As the London sale indicated, the capital’s property sector is also tipped to receive a short-term boost after months on end of Brexit uncertainty.

“It will release a lot of pent up demand in the market,” said Liam Bailey of Knight Frank. “One group that may want to move on with things quite quickly are overseas buyers. With the pound rising they’ll experience an erosion of their buying power, which may well encourage transactions.”

Such optimism could prove short-lived, however, as the realities of the prime minister’s determination to “get Brexit done” at any cost become clear in 2020.

A spokesperson for Beauchamp Estates declined to comment when approached by The Independent.

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