James Cleverly has jetted out to “renew and enhance” ties with the Caribbean and South America on a four-country trip in which he will announce funding to help protect the region’s climate and security.
The Foreign Secretary will offer UK support to safeguard the Amazon rainforest and counter serious and organised crime, according to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The whirlwind seven-day trip, focused on issues including democracy, the environment and shared values, will see Cleverly travel to Jamaica, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.
In Kingston, Jamaica, he will announce £15 million in funding for a violence prevention partnership to address organised crime and up to £7 million to protect the island from flooding and coastal erosion.
He will then head to South America to deliver a keynote speech on the UK’s future relationship with the region.
According to Guardian reports, Cleverly has been using the same jet sued by the Roy family in the hit TV show Succession.
The Embraer Lineage 1000E – lauded as “the crème de la crème of private business jets” – costs more than £10,000 an hour to hire, and includes a lounge area with a big-screen TV and a master suite for its main VIP, complete with a queen-size bed, private bathroom and shower.
Labour has attacked the hire of the jet from a German aviation company as a “ludicrous extravagance”, which showed how Rishi Sunak’s government was out of touch with the public.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, said travelling overseas was an essential part of the foreign secretary’s role.
“But it beggars belief that – at a time when British families are running out of ways to make ends meet – James Cleverly thought it was appropriate to conduct this tour in the kind of luxury jet used by billionaires and pop stars, with British taxpayers footing the bill.
“This sort of ludicrous extravagance at the public expense just shows how out of touch Rishi Sunak’s government are. No wonder their response to the cost of living crisis has been so utterly hopeless when they have such little concept of what ordinary life is like for people in our country.”
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