Truss accused of ‘wasting’ £500k on Australia trip
Labour has accused Foreign Secretary Liz Truss of wasting public money after it emerged that she flew to Australia by private jet at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of more than £500,000.
Instead of travelling on a daily scheduled Qantas flight, Ms Truss insisted on flying the 22,000 mile round trip between London and Australia on a private government plane, according to The Independent.
It is believed that a private flight was chosen for “security considerations”, amid concerns that her conversations would be overheard by other passengers.
Ms Truss, who is tipped as a successor to Boris Johnson, was in Sydney for two days of meetings with Australian government officials before flying to Adelaide, where she gave a speech.
A senior aviation industry source told The Independent that the cost of Truss’s trip would have been “at least £500,000”.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “It’s necessary for the foreign secretary to travel abroad to pursue UK interests around security, trade and technology, as she did during this visit to Australia.
“This trip used government transport and was fully within rules set out in the Ministerial Code.”
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Liz Truss shows the public exactly quite how little respect this Conservative Government has for taxpayers’ money with her ridiculous waste of half a million pounds on a private jet trip.
“This Government is brazen in its disregard for upholding decency. It is obscene that Government Ministers are jet setting yet are hiking taxes and refusing to do anything to help working families when they are feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis.
“Tories waste disgusting amounts of public money on their own vanity and comfort, Labour wants to see families see a cut to energy bills – that is the difference.”
The trip has also raised concerns over the necessity to make the flight when ministers are supposed to be focused on tackling carbon emissions.
Anna Hughes, director of the environmental charity Flight Free UK, said: “Flying to Australia and back on a chartered jet is shockingly privileged and an outrageous source of emissions in the current climate emergency.”