£1 million vandalism to home of sacked minister

Updated: 

Richard Benyon

Britain's richest MP, Richard Benyon, has revealed that hours after he lost his position as a minister, vandals broke into his country estate and went on a wrecking spree that cost £1 million. Among the casualties were his jeep, three aircraft, and his horses - which bolted down a main road.

So what happened, and why?

Vandals

The Daily Telegraph reported that vandals broke into Benyon's country estate between Newbury and Reading, and drove his jeep into three aircraft which were stored on his land. Two of the planes were destroyed a a third was pushed into a set of buildings. The noise caused the horses to panic and flee down the A4.

He told the Telegraph that he had been plagued by hare coursing gangs. He also said he had suffered a series of thefts and vandalism, but nothing on this scale before.

The Daily Mail reported that Thames Valley are questioning a 29-year-old man from Slough. They added that police were still looking for another person in connection with the incident.

Reshuffled

It is thought to be a co-incidence that the break-in happened just after he lost his post as Fisheries Minister. After the move he tweeted: "Thanks for all the kind messages. Actually v cool about 'career change'. Spoke to C Whip in July and said happy to stand aside if required" He added: "Best comment: 'Fisheries Minister sacked. Word is he's gutted' (I'm not BTW!)".

He wrote on his blog: "While I loved being in Government it is a relentless existence with red boxes and work filling evenings and weekends. It is a cliché to say I am able to spend more time with my family, but it is also true."

This will mean more time at the estate, where his family lives, so he will be able to keep a closer eye on things.

The Conservative MP for West Berkshire may take some comfort in the fact that he has an estimated £200 million of wealth to fall back on. He is thought to be the richest MP in the country: a former army officer, and great-great grandson of Conservative prime minister Lord Salisbury. This is just one of his properties. He also has land and property in Scotland and London.