Rishi Sunak spent more than £500,000 on private jet hire in two weeks
Rishi Sunak spent more than £500,000 of taxpayer cash on private jet hire in the space of two weeks, new data showed on Thursday.
The Prime Minister made a last-minute trip to the Cop27 climate change conference in Egypt in November before attending the G20 Summit in Indonesia the following week.
This was followed by journeys to Latvia and Estonia for a meeting of Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) nations and an HM Forces visit.
Downing Street insisted that the combined £512,321 cost of private jet or RAF plane hire across an eight-day period was needed for “vital” engagements as it came under fire over the scale of the spending.
Mr Sunak did not originally plan to attend Cop27, saying he would send ministers in his place while he focused on domestic priorities, but U-turned after criticism of his decision and Boris Johnson’s announcement that he would be going.
The cost of plane hire associated with the trip, on Nov 6 and 7, was £107,966, while the personal cost incurred by the Prime Minister, including all visas, accommodation, travel and meals, was £3,483.
‘Completely out of touch’
Between Nov 13 and 17, Mr Sunak was in Bali for the G20 summit, for which the cost of plane hire totalled £341,857.
The JEF summit, on Nov 19, incurred travel costs of £62,498. Mr Sunak was joined by 31 officials in Egypt, 35 in Indonesia, and by 25 aides in Riga and Tallinn.
Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat climate spokesman, said: “This is a shocking waste of taxpayers’ 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.”
State spending habits hit the headlines earlier this year when Labour accused the Conservatives of acting as though it was “the last days of Rome” by splashing out on government credit cards.