Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak was accused of treating himself like a celebrity. Reports emerged that he took an RAF jet from London to Blackpool. It could be his third time flying with the Royal Air Force within 10 days! Maybe there’s something about being up high in the sky that helps him develop new and innovative ways to help deprived areas around Britain.
Last week, he flew to Edinburgh to see Nicola Sturgeon and to Leeds for a photo op at an NHS unit. Today’s 41-minute trip wouldn’t have to take the Avanti West Coast Mainline train. The train from Euston at 8:30 am runs on time. If it does, the PM could get to Morecambe at 10:25 am.
Mark Jenkinson, a Conservative MP whose seat is in Cumbria, defended the flight by saying that the PM would be “crazy” to take an “unreliable” train. But Labour attacked the price of the flight at a time when rising bills make it hard for families to pay their bills.
A Labour Party spokeswoman said, “Rishi Sunak isn’t even trying to hide his recklessly expensive habits anymore. He’s flying around the country like an A-list celebrity instead of taking the train like the rest of us.” It’s ridiculous to use taxpayer money to fly around the country instead of taking the train.
The ministerial code says that ministers should “make sure they always make travel arrangements that are efficient and cost-effective.” It says, “Only Cabinet members and ministers in charge of departments have the power to approve special flights for themselves or other ministers in their departments.”
Non-scheduled flights may be allowed when a scheduled service is unavailable. Also, When it is necessary to travel by air, official or parliamentary business or security concerns prevent the trip from being made on a scheduled service.
Today, Conservative MPs attacked the government for helping wealthy areas in the southeast. They said the £2.1 billion Levelling-Up fund was helping affluent regions in the southeast. There are numerous claims that areas that voted Conservative for the first time in 2019 were missing out. Michael Gove insisted that the money for redevelopment was “heavily tilted” toward the North.
But only 50 of the winning bids are in the 100 poorest places in Britain. The wealthy part of Yorkshire where the Prime Minister lives, Richmond, is getting £19 million in funding.
The Catterick Garrison, where many British Army units are based, will use the money to improve the town center. One Tory MP told the Times, “People are out of their minds.” Some of the places on the list are very wealthy. It doesn’t look perfect.
It didn’t go over well with red wall MPs.’ But Mr. Gove, who is in charge of ensuring everyone has the same amount of money, denied that the relatively wealthy South East gets more leveling-up money than communities in the North.
He said on the BBC Radio 4 show “Today,” “Well, that’s not quite true.” Looking at how much money each person gets, the North West, the North East, and Wales do the best.
Last week, it posted photos of him getting onto an executive jet made by the French company Dassault Aviation SA so that he could fly to Leeds. He is the latest government minister to face questions about his plane use.
Last November, when the Channel boat crisis was at its worst, Home Secretary Suella Braverman took an RAF Chinook helicopter 30 miles from Dover to a migrant camp in Kent. She was seen getting off the plane wearing a pilot’s helmet, like in the movie “Top Gun.” A source close to the Home Secretary said, “Border Force has to keep an eye on thousands of people coming into Britain from across the Channel.”
The source also said that the Home Secretary can “see the length of our coastline.” While he was in the helicopter, Dan O’Mahoney showed Mrs. Braverman where migrants’ small boats are brought ashore.
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