Boris Johnson’s tactical voting aversion on Heathrow costs taxpayers over £20,000

Boris Johnson’s trip to Afghanistan during a crucial vote on expanding Heathrow airport cost taxpayers at least £20,000, according to newly released documents from the Foreign Office.

A Freedom of Information Request submitted by The Ferret revealed that the cost for three members of staff who accompanied the former Foreign Secretary totalled £19,366.

But the department refused to disclose the details of flight and security costs of Mr Johnson himself, saying the information would be published in due course as part of transparency data, meaning the cost of the trip is likely to much higher.

Johnson came under pressure ahead of the vote after previously vowing to lie down in front of bulldozers to prevent the go-ahead of a third runway. The government won the key vote in the Commons by 415 votes to 119 – a majority of 296, with Tory MPs under orders to support the government.

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the former foreign secretary should consider using his earnings from his Daily Telegraph column to pay back the cost of the visit.

He said: “Boris Johnson, who once said he would lie down in front of bulldozers to stop a third runway at Heathrow, scuttled out of the country at the taxpayer’s expense rather than honouring his promise to his constituents.

“Perhaps our former foreign secretary will consider using some of the money he earns insulting Muslim women with his lucrative £20,000-plus a month column to pay back the taxpayer.”

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