Boris Johnson flew to make a last-ditch speech in Blackpool on a private, taxpayer-funded jet, it has emerged.
The prime minister gave a long-awaited “levelling up” speech in the seaside town last week, announcing a raft of policies in an effort to appease his rebellious backbenchers.
He spoke of tackling “increases in the cost of food, the spooling digits on the petrol pumps, energy bills growing seemingly ever larger” – and spoke of his desire to “get on with the mission on which this Government was elected and unite and level up across the country”.
But instead of taking a three-hour train ride to the holiday hotspot, Johnson decided to make the trip to Blackpool in a luxury government plane.
According to the Mirror, aviation records reveal that the prime minister’s Airbus A321 from London’s Stansted Airport to Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire on Thursday morning – and back again the same afternoon.
The very same day, a Tory minister branded Blackpool “godawful” at an event to launch the government’s digital strategy.
Helen Wheeler told a shocked audience: “I was just at a conference in Blackpool or Birmingham or somewhere godawful.”
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “While a Tory Minister was insulting Blackpool as “godawful”, Boris Johnson was jetting in on taxpayers’ money, skipping the train and dodging voters during a botched relaunch of his doomed premiership.
“This is a terminally out-of-touch Prime Minister who behaves like he’s on another planet and forces taxpayers to pay their hard-earned money for his privilege, all while the cost of living crisis bites.”
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “All travel decisions are made with consideration for security and time restraints.”
“We recognise the importance of better connections to Blackpool and we are working to evaluate how best to improve infrastructure.”