Labour accused Dominic Raab of “wasting taxpayers’ money” by taking a million pounds worth of private charter flights during just nine months while he was Foreign Secretary.
Official records show the Deputy Prime Minister chartered private planes to fly him and aides to Singapore, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, Jakarta, Gibraltar, Cuprus and Seoul between October 2020 and June 2021.
The ministerial code says ministers can authorise non-scheduled flights “when a scheduled service is not available, or when it is essential to travel by air, but the requirements of official or parliamentary business or security considerations preclude the journey being made by a scheduled service”.
Ministers – including those in the Foreign Office – have frequently taken scheduled commercial flights to reduce the eye-watering cost to the taxpayer of private travel.
After raising the list of flights at Prime Minister’s Questions, where she and Mr Raab were standing in for Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson, she said: “While families struggle to make ends meet, Ministers continue to waste taxpayers’ money. They have no solution to the cost of living crisis. This shows just how out of touch the Tories really are.”
Ms Rayner added: “There are serious questions for the Government about how these extortionate costs were run up and what we’re paying for.
“The public will want to know if they’re footing the bill for Tory Ministers’ expensive in flight hospitality while working families struggle to put food on their own tables.”