Jet-set Rishi Sunak tops frequent flier list

Rishi Sunak’s rush to get the country back on track has seen him regularly visit all four corners of the UK.

And new figures reveal the Prime Minister has used RAF jets and helicopters to quickly travel around England and to get to Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Ministry of Defence data show he took almost one such flight a week in a whirlwind first seven months in office.

Mr Sunak boarded 23 domestic flights across 187 days, almost one flight a week on average.

The frequency of the current PM’s taxpayer-funded flights around Britain outstrips his immediate predecessors, Liz Truss, Boris Johnson and Theresa May.

Details of the RAF’s Command Support Air Transport domestic flights were revealed in a Ministry of Defence freedom of information release to the BBC.

READ MORE: Sunak shows he won’t cave in to lefty green agenda as he uses RAF jets ‘weekly’

Ms Truss enjoyed only four domestic flights in her 49 days in charge – once every 12 days. Mr Johnson took such trips every 20 days, while Ms May made these journeys once every 13 days.

Mr Sunak has defended his repeated use of private air travel to get around the UK, calling it the “most effective use of my time”, despite calls for him to use the train when equivalent journey times are possible.

No 10 spokesperson said the PM and his ministers “sometimes require the use of non-commercial air travel”, calling it “standard practice for governments around the world”.

They added: “Value for money, security, and time efficiency is taken into account in all travel decisions and all flights are carbon offset.”

The RAF division – known as 32 Squadron – operates two Dassault Falcon 900LX jets and a helicopter to transport the PM and other ministers domestically.

The Prime Minister sometimes has access to an RAF Voyager plane for overseas trips, and the government also charters private flights on aircraft operated by Titan Airways.

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Separately, Mr Sunak has accepted more than £70,000 worth of private jet and helicopter travel to Conservative Party events from political donors this year.

Labour said the PM was “developing an expensive habit of swanning around on private jets courtesy of the taxpayer”.

In his speech at the COP27 climate summit last year, Mr Sunak said it was “morally right to honour” the UK’s promise to reduce carbon emissions.

The UK has set a legally binding target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as part of the global effort to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Flights produce greenhouse gases – mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) – from burning fuel, and these emissions contribute to global warming.

Anna Hughes, whose Flight Free UK campaign urges people to fly less for the sake of the climate, said Mr Sunak’s transport choices were “frustrating”.

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