Anger as RAF aircraft flown 330 miles for Boris Johnson photoshoot – 5 top reactions

Anger as RAF aircraft flown 330 miles for Boris Johnson photoshoot – 5 top reactions

Related video: Boris Johnson admits picture in Ukraine continues to be 'very grim'


No stranger to a load of hot air, Boris Johnson has this week come under fire after a Royal Air Force jet flew more than 300 miles from Scotland to Lincolnshire for a photoshoot with the prime minister, before travelling back.

As the Ukraine crisis continued to intensify, Mr Johnson visited RAF Waddington, where a P-8A Poseidon was stationed for the Conservative leader on Thursday.

The Press Association reported that it left its base in Lossiemouth, Moray just before 9am on Wednesday, before flying back at around 6:20pm a day later.

“Some of the planes here today are going to be used very shortly over the border in Belarus, in Poland, and elsewhere over Ukraine, to see what’s going on and to allow us to have even finer detail evaluation of the military dispositions there,” Mr Johnson said.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said the aircraft undertook training flights before and after the prime minister’s visit. The spokesperson told Sky News: "This enabled a small number of aircraft to be used to demonstrate how the RAF defends the UK and our Nato allies across Europe. At no point did this impact on any ongoing operations.”

The prime minister’s decision to have a PR opportunity with the jet comes just months after his government hosted the Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

So naturally, Twitter users weren’t all too happy with Mr Johnson calling in the aircraft:

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It isn’t the first time the government has faced accusations of hypocrisy over its climate commitments and CO2 emissions, as just last month the foreign secretary Liz Truss was revealed to have flown to Australia via private jet for talks, instead of using scheduled flights.

Ms Truss said the flight on the government-charted plane – estimated to have cost more than £500,000 – was made available “precisely so that government ministers can travel”.

Elsewhere, latest government spending documents reveal Mr Johnson’s flights during a four-day trip to the US in September, on the RAF Voyager more commonly known as “the Brexit jet” for its expensive paint job, cost just above £365,000.

Then, on the eve of Cop26, it emerged that its president, Alok Sharma MP, had flown to more than 30 countries. The government spent £125,000 on a flight to China ahead of the conference, while £24,000 was splashed on journeys to Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados in July.

In a statement to The Independent, a government spokesperson said all carbon emissions associated with the running of Cop26 – including ministerial travel – would be offset.

“Ahead of the summit, the Cop president travelled to key countries for face-to-face meetings which are vital to ensuring success in climate negotiations and crucial to understanding first-hand the opportunities and challenges other countries are facing in the fight against climate change,” they said.

Indy100 has contacted Number 10 for comment.

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