No Ryanair for Rishi: PM spends £500,000 on plane hire for ‘vital’ overseas trips totalling eight days – including £100,000 after Cop-27 climate summit U-turn
- Rishi Sunak spent a total of £512,321 for three overseas visits late last year
Rishi Sunak spent more than £500,000 of taxpayers’ cash on private jets to take him on foreign trips totalling eight days, it has been revealed.
According to newly-released Cabinet Office figures, the Prime Minister spent a total of £512,321 on either private jet or RAF plane hire for three overseas visits last year.
These included Mr Sunak’s journey to the Cop-27 climate change summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and his trip to the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November.
The PM then flew to Latvia and Estonia on the same day in December to visit UK troops based in the Baltics and for a meeting of Joint Expeditionary Force nations.
Mr Sunak’s attendance at the Cop-27 summit came after he performed a late U-turn on a previous decision not to travel to the gathering.
Rishi Sunak, seen boarding a plane to travel to Bali, Indonesia, for the G20 summit in November, spent a total of £512,321 on private jets last year
The PM flew to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on 6 November – for a two-day visit to the Cop-27 climate change summit – with his travel costing £107,966
Mr Sunak flew to Latvia and Estonia on the same day in December to visit UK troops based in the Baltics and for a meeting of Joint Expeditionary Force nations
Downing Street initially said Mr Sunak was too focused on the domestic economy to attend the climate change summit.
But the PM did eventually travel to Egypt where he used a speech to hail Britain’s ‘ambitious commitment to reduce emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2030’.
Downing Street said Mr Sunak’s travel was for ‘vital meetings with world leaders’.
But the Liberal Democrats branded the private plane hire a ‘shocking waste of taxpayers’ money’ during the cost-of-living crisis.
The PM flew to Sharm El-Sheikh on 6 November for a two-day trip with his travel costing £107,966.
He then flew to Bali on 13 November and returned on 17 November, at a cost of £341,857.
On 19 December, the PM travelled to Riga, Latvia, and Tallinn, Estonia, at a cost of £62,498.
The Cabinet Office document also revealed Mr Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, spent £38,772 on a two-day trip to Prague, Czech Republic, in October.
The costs were attributed to ‘private jet or RAF plane hire’, although the mode of transport for all four trips was stated as G-GBNI – an reference to an Airbus A-321 operated by the charter carrier Titan Airways on behalf of the UK Government.
Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse, the party’s energy and climate spokesperson, said: ‘This is a shocking waste of taxpayer’s money at a time when people are struggling to pay their bills.
‘Yet again this Conservative government is completely out of touch.
‘The government can pretend to care about a greener future with their so-called ‘Green Day’ but the reality is they are trashing their own promises.’
A Number 10 spokesman said: ‘The role of the Prime Minister includes holding vital meetings with world leaders during bilateral visits and summits to discuss issues of international importance – including security, defence and trade.’
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