British prime minister criticised for ‘helicopter lifestyle’ instead of train

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is criticised for his preference for travelling by helicopter instead of train at comparable journey times.

The prime minister’s “helicopter lifestyle” has been criticised after it emerged that he borrowed a helicopter to travel 200 miles – which would have taken just 10 minutes longer by train, according to

Rishi Sunak borrowed the helicopter from a Conservative Party donor to fly to a campaign event in Chester, Cheshire, before then travelling by car for the last 25 minutes of his journey.

If he had taken the equivalent train journey from London to Wrexham, it would have taken only about 10 minutes longer.

His carbon-intensive journey comes as July was the hottest month on record globally, and the UN secretary-general warned earlier this week that “the age of global boiling has arrived”.

Sunak has made several helicopter trips in recent months. In June, he took a taxpayer-funded helicopter on a 74-mile trip to Kent.

And in May he took the official helicopter to Southampton, even though an equivalent train journey would have taken just over an hour.

When he makes political trips, rather than official visits, he travels in helicopters borrowed from Conservative donors such as Harpin.

Rishi Sunak used Mr Harpin’s helicopter to fly from London to Manchester in May to meet the Arora brothers, who own the B&M department store chain – one of whom is a Conservative donor.

Last month, he used the aircraft to fly from London to Doncaster to attend the Northern Research Group conference.

Opposition attorney general Emily Thornberry criticised Sunak’s “helicopter lifestyle”, adding: “On one issue after another, he is found out.”

A government spokesman said, “The premier regularly uses all forms of travel.”

“His travel plans vary and are always decided taking into consideration the most efficient and best use of his time,” it added.

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