Most of the rich politicians in Britain, says the Times, are Tories as you would expect. Lord Ashcroft (worth £1,200m) leads the field, pharmaceutical magnate Lord Balleymond next (worth £860m), followed by the Marquess of Salisbury (275m) at no 4, and Lord Heseltine (£264m) no 5. However, rather surprisingly (or perhaps not after 13 years of New Labour in government), seven of the top twenty are Labour.
Lord Sainsbury worth £400m (#3)
Labour peer and ex-minister, though previously in the SDP. His fortune is mainly (£350m) in shares in the family supermarket business. He was a big donor to the Labour Party under Brown, but now channels his money into Progress.
Lord Grantchester worth £80m (#9)
Labour peer. Inherited much of the Littlewoods football pools and retailing fortune. He owns extensive property in Cheshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Westminster, Yorkshire and Dallas, Texas.
Lord Drayson worth £75m (#10=)
Labour peer and ex-minister. Made his fortune in pharmaceuticals. Since losing his ministerial post (defence procurement), in 2010, he has immersed himself in motor sports.
Tony Blair worth £30m (#14)
Ex Labour prime minister. Has made his fortune more quickly than the rest, from dispensing advice to companies, sovereign wealth funds and governments (including Kuwait and Kazakhstan), and employs about 150 staff at his Mayfair HQ. He can earn up to £200,000 for making a speech to top up his £70,000 prime ministerial pension and pay the running costs of his valuable property portfolio.
Margaret Hodge worth £18m (#15)
Labour MP, former minister and currently a select committee chair. Her fortune isn largely her inherited stake in the steel trading company founded by her German Jewish refugee father, Hans Oppenheimer.
Shaun Woodward worth £15m (#16)
One-time Tory turned Labour MP and cabinet minister. What the Times treat as his wealth is really his wife’s inheritance (she’s another Sainsbury, her father being ex-Tory MP, Tim Sainsbury) topped up by some astute moves in the property market, having recently sold homes in St James’s and New York for £5.7m and £11.5m respectively, leaving them with just six properties (in the Alps, Mustique, the south of France, Cirencester, a London flat and St Helens – the constituency).
Geoffrey Robinson worth £10m (#17=)
Former Paymaster General and still a Labour MP. Former CEO of Jaguar cars and still a non-executive director of Paiton Engineering. His fortune is not really derived from his buisness interests many of which the Times describes as failures although he, no doubt, never expected to make anything out of either the New Statesman or Coventry FC, nor from the £373,000 loan to Peter Mandelson which cost him his ministerial career. He inherited £12m from Belgian entrepreneur, Joska Bourgeois, which is what enables him to own 168 acres in Tuscany, a Park Lane penthouse and “one of Surrey’s finest houses” – a Lutyens mansion in 50 acres.