POLITICS
08/11/2013 06:32 GMT

Jeremy Hunt Set For £17 Million Payout In Hotcourses Sale

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Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt speaks to delegates during the third day of the annual Conservative Party Conference at the ICC in Birmingham, central England on October 9, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES. (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages)

Jeremy Hunt is set for a £17 million payout that would send him to the top of the Cabinet rich list

The Health Secretary's upcoming windfall will come from the sale of Hotcourses, an educational listings company he set up 17 years ago, which is set to be bought by Inflexion Private Equity for about £35 million.

Hunt is in line for a stake worth over £17 million if the takeover succeeds, as he is understood to own 49% of the firm, according to Sky News.

This windfall, greater than the £15 million originally estimated, would leave him with a greater fortune than the prime minister, chancellor and defence secretary combined.

This may be politically awkward for the coalition as Labour leader Ed Miliband has sought to depict the Tories as "out of touch". News of Hunt's potential £17m windfall comes in the same week as a GP challenged the Health Secretary to work for free.

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Jeremy Hunt has already received several million pounds in dividends since he set up the firm.

Last year, the cabinet 'rich list' was topped by Lord Stratchlyde at £9.5 million, who stood down earlier this year as the government's leader in the House of Lords, with Hammond behind him at £8.2 million, who drew his wealth largely from a stake in property firm Castlemead.

Chancellor George Osborne's wealth was estimated to be £4.5 million, with David Cameron on £3.8 million. The Cabinet's combined wealth was estimated to be nearly £70 million, with 18 out of 29 ministers worth over a million.