Sunak thought he had spent thousands of dollars on helicopter trips since becoming prime minister | Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak has taken private helicopter trips around his North Yorkshire constituency costing thousands of pounds since becoming Prime Minister, according to the Guardian.
The journey to Richmond from a London heliport is likely to raise further questions about the Prime Minister’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis.
Sunak is said to have used private helicopters from London on dates in November and December, at a cost of around £16,000. The trips were funded by individuals.
No 10 did not dispute the use of helicopters and said the prime minister had paid for all his own trips which were not on government business. A spokesperson said: ‘We are not commenting on the Prime Minister’s trip.
Northallerton, a town close to the Sunak constituency, is on the London Kings Cross main line. There are usually over 30 trains a day and the 200 mile journey takes around two hours and 15 minutes. Booked a day in advance, a single journey would cost around £87.
The prime minister has previously come under fire for his use of taxpayer-funded private jets to visit different parts of the country as prime minister, including three flights over a 10-day period.
In January, the Prime Minister flew on a 14-seater plane to Scotland, then to an event in Leeds, then a few days later took the same plane to an event in Lancashire for a question and answer session -responses after his upgrade funding announcement.
Hiring the jet would cost more than £2,500 an hour in the commercial market, according to aircraft purchasing advisers Conklin and Decker.
Downing Street has previously defended the Prime Minister’s travel arrangements as making the best use of his time, denying rail reliability was a factor in his decisions.
The government is committed to reducing carbon emissions in its drive to reach net zero by 2050. Part of this includes reducing emissions from the domestic aviation market under a program called “zero jet”, aiming to reduce the 7% of emissions that come from the aeronautical sector.
The suggestion that Sunak has brought private helicopters home to his constituency is also likely to add to the public perception that the Prime Minister’s £730million net worth means he is out of touch with day-to-day concerns, although the majority of his wealth comes from his wife. , Akshata Murty, a tech heiress.
In Labour-led focus groups over the past fortnight it has emerged as a key criticism of the Prime Minister, fueled by a story last year that Murty had non-dom tax status.
Sunak admitted to using private healthcare, but says he is registered with an NHS GP. The Guardian revealed in November that he was registered with a private clinic in west London which charges £250 for a consultation.