Theresa May splurged £20k a month on private jets to thrash out EU deal — but achieved nothing

THERESA May splurged £20,000 a month on private jets and RAF flights to desperately thrash out an EU deal – and achieve nothing, The Sun can reveal.

The PM made over 50 trips to member states costing half a million from when she took over as PM in July 2016 until the most recent figures in December last year.

The PM clocked up thousands of air miles and spent £20,000 a month in her efforts to thrash out an EU deal
PA:Press Association

It means the total cost for chartered flights and No. 32 Squadron RAF trips is even higher as she made more last ditch efforts to get her hated deal over the line this year.

Figures show the jet costs alone were £476,974 and extras including accommodation and meals added on £42,000.

The PM would have been expected to make European Council meetings and NATO summits regardless of Brexit but the negotiations saw a huge increase in trips.

Before David Cameron entered talks for his 2016 EU referendum deal he visited Europe just ten times in 2013 – half the 20 times May flew to Europe per year on average.

And Cameron took just four trips to Brussels while May was in the Belgium capital roughly every six weeks.

Taxpayers’ will be disappointed that the Prime Minister was spending so much and ultimately achieved nothing

Ben Ramanauskas

His total European travel bill to the taxpayer was just £12,057 in 2013 but May nearly levelled that on each journey with trips costing a staggering £9,980 on average.

Taxpayers Alliance policy analyst Ben Ramanauskas blasted the huge costs that “ultimately achieved nothing”.

He said: “These negotiations were important and it is obviously right that, as prime minister, Theresa May met with European leaders.

“However, costs should be kept low and that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. Theresa May should have used cheaper options such as commercial flights, where appropriate.

“Taxpayers’ will be disappointed that the Prime Minister was spending so much money on hotels and restaurants and, ultimately, achieved nothing.”

HUGE CARBON FOOTPRINT

May, 62, racked up over 50,000 miles visiting 28 cities in 18 EU countries mainly in the UK PM’s personal plane RAF Voyager – dubbed May Force One.

The Airbus 332 was brought in by Cameron at a cost of £10million and he claimed it would save £775,000 a year in the cost of private charters in December 2015.

But figures show it cost taxpayers around £9,000 per trip and the 58-seater craft left a huge carbon footprint over the 30 month period.

Unsurprisingly Brussels was the top destination with 21 visits – or once every six weeks – followed by Berlin which she travelled to six times and Paris on three.

Belgium, Germany and France were also the top three countries she saw with 22 visits to Belgium, seven to France and eight to Germany.

It included 21 bilateral talks with EU nations’ leaders, 12 EU council meetings as well as EU Commission meets a Brexit speech and other major summits.

May also splurged £2million on trips outside the EU over the same period.

A UK Government spokesman said: “It’s the Prime Minister’s job to represent the United Kingdom internationally, including at major international events like the European Council and NATO Summit.”

The PM arrived at what is believed to be her last European Council Summit at Brussels on June 20
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