INEOS boss Jim Ratcliffe becomes UK’s richest man

Jim Ratcliffe, the man currently locked in a legal battle to allow fracking in Scotland has become the richest person in the UK, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Ratcliffe, who founded INEOS, the petrochemical and oil giant, has a personal wealth of £21 billion, a £15 billion jump since last year. He is currently fighting the Scottish Government to overturn a ban on fracking. A debate ha been raging over whether there is a real ‘ban’ or just a moratorium as the legal representative for the Scottish government insists, though the SNP website disagrees.

A poll last year found that 90% of people in Scotland supported a ban of fracking, and Ratcliffe has been heavily criticised for trying to overturn the policy through legal action. Not everyone is opposed - the GMB Union in particular have been staunch supporters because of the potential for well paid, high skill jobs.

INEOS officials, including Ratcliffe, were revealed by the Ferret last June to have had multiple secret meetings with Scottish Government ministers, including one-on-one meeting with Nicola Sturgeon last year, and there were rumours that the moratorium was to be overturned. But for the Scottish Government it was far too great a political risk, as the SNP rank and file were dead set against it.

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