Downing Street has defended Rishi Sunak’s decision to visit a Leeds hospital on a RAF jet rather than take a train.
The prime minister is facing demands he reimburse the Treasury for the cost of the “out of touch” trip.
On Monday morning the prime minister visited Rutland Lodge Medical Practice.
A photograph posted to the No.10 Flikr account shows Sunak boarding the plane.
Defending the move, the PM’s spokesperson said there was “a great deal of pressure” on the prime minister’s time.
“The transport the prime minister takes will vary and always be done in the interest of what’s most effective,” they said.
A train journey from London’s Kings Cross station to Leeds takes just over two hours.
Lib Dem Cabinet Office spokesperson Christine Jardine branded Sunak a “joke”.
Rishi Sunak never ceases to underline just how out of touch he is,” she said.
“What does he have to say to all those commuters who didn’t have the option to take a jet to work when his government failed to get the strikes called off
“Rishi Sunak owes the public an apology and should consider reimbursing the Treasury for this waste of taxpayers money.”
Tracy Brabin, the Labour mayor of west Yorkshire, hit out at the PM on Twitter.
Sunak’s visit to Leeds came amid warnings of a crisis in the NHS and strikes by nurses and ambulance workers.
Talks between unions and ministers broke down without a resolution yesterday.
Steve Barclay, the health secretary, has suggested NHS workers could see their pay rise for next year brought forward by three months, in an effort to solve the dispute.