Some of the UK’s wealthiest aristocrats trousered nearly a million pounds in Housing Benefit last year. The news comes after the Mirror exposed the hypocrisy of the country’s richest Tory MP, Richard Benyon, for receiving £119,000 in direct housing benefit payments for tenants on his £110m estate – while attacking the “something for nothing” welfare system.
The figures have been revealed by a mammoth freedom of information request by the GMB union and are yet another blow to the right-wing ‘scroungers’ narrative — showing wealthy landlords are often the real winners in Britain’s welfare system.
The cash going to toffs listed below is in addition to money creamed off by the Queen via the Crown Estate and Prince Charles via the Duchy of Cornwall.
Grosvenor Estate Belgravia, part of Grovenor Group: Fixed assets of £4.3bn. Headed by the Duke of Westminster who is in the Sunday Times Rich List as 8th richest person in Britain with wealth estimated at £7.8bn. (£243,000)
Cowdray Estate / Paddockhurst Estate: Michael Pearson, 4th Viscount Cowdray, listed on the Sunday Times Rich List with wealth estimated at £400m. The family firm is the Pearson Media Group and his family seat is Cowdray Park in West Sussex. (£118,000)
Cadogan Estates Ltd: Charles G Cadogan, 8th Earl Cadogan, Tory donor and 18th on Sunday Times Rich List with fortune of £3.675m (£116,000)
Argyll Estates: 50,000 acre estate including Inveraray Castle, home to Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll (£126,000)
Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates: Sir Richard Sutton, 9th Baronet, on the Sunday Times Rich List with wealth of £150m (£68,000)
Strathmore Estates Holding Ltd: Michael Bowes-Lyon, 18th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the Queen’s cousin and owner of Glamis Castle (£11,500)
Compton Estates – Castle Ashby Estate: seat of Lord Northampton, Spencer Compton, 7th Marquess of Northampton. One of Britain’s wealthiest aristocrats, He is on Sunday Times Rich List with estimated wealth of £103m (£21,000)
Grimsthorpe & Drummond Castle Trust Ltd: owner of Grimsthorpe Castle is Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ancaster and grand daughter of Nancy Astor. Inherited Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire and Drummond Castle in Perthshire (£19,000)
Haddo Estate: Owned by Alexander Gordon, 7th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair (£42,000)
Moray Estates Development Company: John Douglas Stuart, 20th Earl of Moray, owner of Darnaway Castle (£10,000)
Hawarden Estate: Sir Erskine ‘William’ Gladstone, 7th Baronet, owner of Hawarden Castle in Flintshire. (£43,000)
Powis Castle Estates: Owned by John Herbert, 8th Earl of Powis (£34,000)
Knepp Castle Estate Office: A 3,500 acre Estate in West Sussex owned by Sir Charles Burrell, 10th Baronet, Owner of Knepp Castle (£15,000)
Blackmoor Estate Ltd: Owned by John Palmer, 4th Earl of Selborne, a conservative hereditary peer (£18,000)
‘Benefits Street’? More like ‘Benefits Manor’.