Connect with us

Travel

Rishi flies ‘economy’ on his election tour! Sunak takes propeller plane with no first or business class to Scotland with claims multi-millionaire PM is trying to play down his wealthy image

Published

on

He’s known for his love of flying around the country on private planes paid for by rich donors when he could drive or take the train. 

But Rishi Sunak has fuelled suggestions he is trying to play down his multi-millionaire image ahead of the election after taking a  – slightly – more economic approach to his domestic travel arrangements.

The Prime Minister rocked up in Inverness this evening in a chartered aircraft. But the The Eastern Airways Jetstream 41 is a prop plane with no business or first class seating. Instead it has 29 economy seats.

And its specifications show it was built in 1993, when the PM was just 12 or 13 years old. It is the smallest aircraft in the Eastern fleet.

A Labour source said: ‘The Tory image consultants have finally realised that Rishi’s luxury jet lifestyle is undermining his pitch as a ”man of the people”, so their answer is to rent out a budget airplane instead.

‘These must be the same geniuses who sent him out to announce the election in a downpour. They are making Theresa May‘s 2017 election campaign look positively slick by comparison.’ 

The Prime Minister rocked up in Inverness this evening in a chartered aircraft. But the The Eastern Airways Jetstream 41 is a prop plane with no business or first class seating

Instead it has 29 economy seats. And its specifications show it was built in 1993, when the PM was just 12 or 13 years old

Instead it has 29 economy seats. And its specifications show it was built in 1993, when the PM was just 12 or 13 years old

Earlier this week Mr Sunak flew to Vienna in an RAF jet

Earlier this week Mr Sunak flew to Vienna in an RAF jet

After stunning Westminster with the announcement he is sending the country to the polls on 4 July, the Tory leader embarked on a blitz of campaigning.

Mr Sunak has previously faced criticism over his use of private aircraft – planes and helicopters – to get around the country instead of using trains or cars.

His team have argued that he is under extreme time pressure in the role and it is the best way for him to keep to his schedule.

Earlier this year it was revealed a millionaire Tory donor at the heart of a racism row bankrolled a helicopter journey to Yorkshire last year.

Frank Hester, who in March was accused of a vile rant aimed at Diane Abbott, forked out £15,900 last November to fly the PM from London to Leeds.

Official Parliamentary documents show the money was paid by Hester’s firm, The Phoenix Partnership (TPP), for a Conservative Party ‘political visit’.

Last May Downing Street defended the PM’s use of a taxpayer-funded helicopter to fly to Southampton and back.

The Prime Minister made the trip from London to the South Coast to visit a pharmacy. It is around 70 miles as the crow flies from the capital to Southampton.

Rishi Sunak is pictured disembarking a plane at Inverness Airport

Rishi Sunak is pictured disembarking a plane at Inverness Airport

The PM was greeted by Leader of the Scottish Conservative party Douglas Ross as he arrived at the Port of Nigg

The PM was greeted by Leader of the Scottish Conservative party Douglas Ross as he arrived at the Port of Nigg

The two Tory politicians have kicked off the general election campaign in Scotland

The two Tory politicians have kicked off the general election campaign in Scotland

Rishi Sunak speaks with workers during a visit to Global Energy at the port

Rishi Sunak speaks with workers during a visit to Global Energy at the port

Mr Sunak speaks to members of the media during his tour at the Port of Nigg, which is one of Scotland's most important energy industry facilities

Mr Sunak speaks to members of the media during his tour at the Port of Nigg, which is one of Scotland’s most important energy industry facilities

The train from Waterloo to Southampton Central takes a little over an hour and a quarter, with an off-peak return ticket costing around £53. 

No10 stressed Mr Sunak’s choice of transport was the ‘best use’ of his time due to the ‘pressure’ of his schedule.

But critics accused the wealthy PM of being ‘wildly out of touch’ with the British public and ‘throwing taxpayer money away so he can travel in luxury’.

Mr Sunak was previously accused of behaving like an ‘A-list celebrity’ after he used an RAF jet to fly 250 miles to northern England to promote ‘levelling up’ funding in January.

That was the third time he had used an RAF aircraft in 10 days for trips within Britain.

In March 2023, it was revealed the PM had spent more than £500,000 of taxpayers’ cash on private jets to take him on foreign trips totalling eight days.

Last week it was revealed the personal fortune of the PM and his wife Akshata Murty grew by more than £120 million over the past year.

Members of the media record a chat between Mr Sunak and Mr Ross over a hot drink

Members of the media record a chat between Mr Sunak and Mr Ross over a hot drink

The PM has a trip to Northern Ireland scheduled for tomorrow as he visits all four nations of the UK to deliver his election message. Pictured today near Inverness

The PM has a trip to Northern Ireland scheduled for tomorrow as he visits all four nations of the UK to deliver his election message. Pictured today near Inverness

Mr Sunak travelled 550 miles to Inverness in Scotland to begin in campaign with Scottish Conservative party leader Douglas Ross

Mr Sunak travelled 550 miles to Inverness in Scotland to begin in campaign with Scottish Conservative party leader Douglas Ross

The latest annual Sunday Times Rich List revealed their wealth grew substantially despite the wider UK billionaire boom coming ‘to an end’ in the face of tough economic conditions.

Mr Sunak and Ms Murty’s wealth was £651million in the latest list, soaring from £529million in 2023.

The rise was linked to Ms Murty’s small stake in Infosys, the $70billion (£55.3billion) Indian IT giant co-founded by her billionaire father.

Her shares grew in value by £108.8million to nearly £590million for the year.

But the couple’s wealth still remains below its level from 2022, when it sat at around £730million for the year.

He today began his first full day since confirming the earlier-than-expected election date with a morning visit to Ilkeston.

The PM took a light-hearted view of his rain-sodden address in Downing Street yesterday by posing with an umbrella in the Derbyshire town, quipping: ‘Better late than never!’

He then made a 170-mile trip to Barry, South Wales, before travelling a further 550 miles to Inverness in Scotland.

The PM has a trip to Northern Ireland scheduled for tomorrow as he visits all four nations of the UK to deliver his election message.

As he began a gruelling schedule of events over the next six weeks to polling day, Mr Sunak also threw down the gauntlet to Sir Keir Starmer, who launched Labour‘s campaign this morning in Gillingham, Kent.

The PM challenged the Labour leader to six TV debates during the general election campaign by making it known he is willing to face-off against Sir Keir every single week before 4 July.

Continue Reading