Rishi Sunak Under

Rishi Sunak Under “Lot Of Pressure” After Taking Helicopter For Short Trip

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Rishi Sunak Under 'Lot Of Pressure' After Taking Helicopter For Short Trip

Rishi Sunak boarded the helicopter after a cabinet meeting.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used a helicopter to fly to Southampton from London and back, a journey that would take just over an hour on train. The Guardian said this is the latest example of fondness for short-distance air travel of Mr Sunak, who has earlier too faced criticism for taking publicly-funded flights around the country. The Prime Minister took the helicopter ride to visit a pharmacy in Southampton to promote one of his health policies. Downing Street confirmed the flight was funded by taxpayers’ money but defended the move.

The Guardian said that instead of taking a train from the Waterloo station for the 160-mile (257 kilometres) round trip, which would have cost 30 pounds (Rs 3,105), Mr Sunak opted to travel by air. The outlet said a flight on the same route would have cost 6,000 pounds (Rs 6.21 lakh).

The helicopter trip is likely to add to the public perception that the UK Prime Minister, who has a net worth of 730 million pounds (Rs 7,556 crore), is out of touch with people’s issues.

Politico quoted Mr Sunak’s spokesperson as saying that there is “a lot of pressure” on him after he took the helicopter ride instead of choosing to go by train.

Speaking to reporters, the spokesperson said the PM had “a series of meetings” in the afternoon that he needed to attend, and said his transport plans “will vary depending on his time and where he’s going to make the best use of both his time and in the interest of the taxpayer”.

Mr Sunak’s helicopter visit comes a week after his Conservative Party lost more than 1,000 council seats in local elections. Speaking about it, the Prime Minister had told reporters that the results were “obviously disappointing” but insisted his priorities were right for the country.

In recent months, Mr Sunak has made several helicopter trips to his constituency in North Yorkshire, although these were privately funded.

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