New Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick presides over a multi-million property empire
Boris’s new Housing Secretary certainly comes well qualified for his role . . . as he has no fewer than four homes of his own.
Robert Jenrick presides over a multi-million property empire with his American wife.
Now he has been handed the task of ensuring the rest of Britain has somewhere to live as well.
As Mr Johnson’s Housing Secretary, Mr Jenrick, 37, faces the challenge of massively speeding up the rate at which homes are built.
In his first speech as PM, Boris made it a key pledge to give ‘millions of young people the chance to own their own homes’.
Fortunately, the millionaire new minister already has plenty of experience of the housing market.
In 2009, he and his wife Michal Berkner, a lawyer, bought a Grade I-listed country pile, a stunning 17th-century manor house in Herefordshire, for £1.1 million.
Between them, they also own two £2 million homes in London.
She bought a flat in Marylebone, Central London, in 2004 for £850,000, and it is now worth an estimated £2.3 million.
In 2013, shortly before Mr Jenrick became an MP, they shelled out a further £2.5 million to purchase a townhouse in Westminster, less than a mile from Parliament.
Home One: Mr Jenrick and his wife own a flat in Marylebone, Central London, which they bought in 2004 for £850,000, and it is now worth an estimated £2.3 million
Home Two: In Newark, where Mr Jenrick has been Conservative MP since a by-election in 2014, his constituency home is a rented mews house
The house, now worth an estimated £2.9 million, is the London base for the high-powered couple and their three young daughters. In total, the family’s property portfolio is valued at £6.3 million.
When Mr Jenrick was campaigning to become the MP for Newark, he pledged he was ‘almost sure’ the couple would sell their eight-bedroom mansion in Herefordshire and move up to the Nottinghamshire constituency.
In the five years since then, however, there has been no sign of the property being put on the market, and they are still its owners. Three years ago, they even re-mortgaged the house.
In Newark, where Mr Jenrick has been Conservative MP since a by-election in 2014, his constituency home is a rented mews house.
Former Ukip candidate Roger Helmer, who was his rival at the by-election, recalled yesterday: ‘Robert does know a lot about housing but I suspect it’s more at the top end, and I wonder how much he knows about how to fix the bottom end of the market.
House Three: In 2009, the MP and his wife Michal Berkner, a lawyer, bought a Grade I-listed country pile, a stunning 17th-century manor house in Herefordshire, for £1.1 million
House Four: In 2013, shortly before Mr Jenrick became an MP, they shelled out a further £2.5 million to purchase a townhouse in Westminster, less than a mile from Parliament
‘At one of the hustings events, I asked him how he managed to acquire so many homes and he said: ‘Do you have something against people being rich?’, to which I replied: ‘No, but lots of young people in Newark would like to know how you did it, so they can follow suit.”
Before becoming an MP, Cambridge-educated Mr Jenrick was a successful corporate lawyer in London and Moscow before becoming a director at the auction house Christie’s.
He was the youngest minister in Theresa May’s government as Exchequer Secretary.
His wife reportedly earned almost £500,000 a year with American law firm Skadden, before she was poached last year to join a rival firm.
Last night, Labour MP Melanie Onn accused Jenrick of being ‘out of touch’, but his supporters said that just because he was wealthy did not mean he does not understand ‘life on the breadline’.
Mr Jenrick was unavailable for comment, but has previously said of his good fortune: ‘None of it was inherited or handed on a plate to us. My wife and I have both worked jolly hard.’ The Ministry of Housing declined to comment.
The Treasury chief so wealthy he’s dubbed the Maharaja of the Dales
By far the most glamorous invitation in the North Yorkshire social calendar is to the summer garden party in the landscaped grounds of the magnificent Georgian manor house in a small village.
Uniformed staff serve champagne and canapes as guests mingle alongside the ornamental lake with its boathouse, private wooded island and paddocks set in 12 acres.
The host is Rishi Sunak, the MP for Richmond in the county — a safe Tory seat, it was held by former Tory leader Willian Hague for 25 years — and nicknamed the ‘Maharaja of the Dales’. He bought the house for £1.5 million in 2015.
Rishi Sunak, pictured with his wife Akshata Murthy has been promoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury and is known as the ‘Maharaja of the Dales’
A staunch Brexiteer, Sunak has been newly promoted to Boris Johnson’s Cabinet after this week’s dramatic reshuffle (or ‘bloodbath’), and is Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the second most important fiscal job after the Chancellor.
A multi-millionaire in his own right thanks to his investment career, Mr Sunak is even wealthier thanks to his marriage to Akshata Murthy, also 39, whose father N.R. Narayana Murthy is India’s sixth-richest man.
A self-made billionaire, Murthy Sr is a household name in India after making his fortune through consulting giant Infosys.
Akshata herself runs fashion label Akshata Designs and is also a director of a venture capital firm founded by her father in 2010.
Her shareholding in Infosys alone is estimated at £185 million. Mr Sunak, a consummate media performer, was offered up by Downing Street for the prime 8.10am slot on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday. He didn’t put a foot wrong.
A multi-millionaire in his own right thanks to his investment career, Mr Sunak is even wealthier thanks to his marriage to Murthy, whose father N.R. Narayana Murthy is India’s sixth-richest man (pictured, their magnificent Georgian manor in North Yorkshire)
Nevertheless, Labour’s attack dogs will target the fact Mr Sunak, who boarded at the £40,000-a-year Wellington College and is believed — thanks to his marriage — to be the richest MP, has been handed the sensitive task of balancing the books at the Treasury.
Born in Southampton as a third-generation Indian immigrant, Mr Sunak’s father was an NHS GP and his mother ran a chemist’s.
After Oxford he studied at California’s Stanford University where he met Akshata.
The couple married in her home city of Bangalore in 2009 in a two-day ceremony attended by 1,000 guests.
After the couple returned to Britain, Sunak worked for a London hedge fund before setting up his own business, Theleme Partners, in 2010, with an initial fund of $700 million. While building the hedge fund he spent a couple of days doing voluntary work for the Conservatives. He then decided he would like to go into politics full-time.
There were one or two hair-raising moments when Mr Sunak went canvassing for the first time in the seat, which has a relatively small ethnic minority population.
He was introduced to one sheep farmer who said: ‘Nice to meet you. I see you’ve got a better sun tan than William Hague.’
David Hugill, a local Tory councillor, says: ‘I think he can go much further than his current Cabinet job, maybe all the way to the top.
‘We see plenty of him and his garden parties are great occasions. He brought Boris Johnson to one of our fundraising events just a few weeks ago. It was sold out. Rishi’s wife has really thrown herself into the job, too. They are an asset to the area.’
Mr Sunak speaks often to his father-in-law, who has a favourite saying: ‘In God we trust — but everyone else needs to bring data to the table.’
Sunak says: ‘It’s something I try to live by as l always want to get the facts before coming to conclusion.’
It’s an epithet that should stand him in good stead as grapples with the detail of his new job.
Living the high life with Pilot Shapps
He has long been in favour of the expansion of Heathrow, so it may come as no surprise that new Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is himself a keen pilot.
Mr Shapps, 50, a self-made millionaire, has been reported to have a £100,000 six-seater foreign-registered Piper Saratoga aircraft.
New Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has long been in favour of the expansion of Heathrow
The self-made millionaire has been reported to have a £100,000 six-seater foreign-registered Piper Saratoga aircraft
He ran into trouble in 2013, when as Tory chairman, he tried to block plans for a housing estate on Panshanger airfield in Hertfordshire — where he kept his plane.
The Tory MP, who represents Welwyn Hatfield, was brought up in Watford where he went to the local comprehensive and has a business diploma from Manchester Polytechnic.