After years of funding Ukip, Sykes will no doubt have been cheered by the outcome of the EU referendum. He has also enjoyed an eye-catching payday – a dividend of more than £300m as he wound up Highstone Group, his main business, last year. The son of a Barnsley miner, Sykes, 73, left school with no qualifications. He worked as a tyre fitter before moving into car dealing but made his biggest fortune in property, developing Sheffield’s Meadowhall centre with Eddie Healey (qv). The pair sold it in 1999 for £1.17bn.