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Boris Johnson's plane seen for the first time after £900k makeover
25 June 2020, 14:46
Boris Johnson's plane has been seen for the first time after its £900,000 paint job.
The Government announced last week that it would spend £900,000 repainting the aircraft, with Dominic Raab telling LBC it “delivers bang for our buck.”
The RAF Voyager used by the Prime Minister and the royal family was seen taking off on the runway at Cambridge airport where it has been repainted in the colours of the Union flag.
The Foreign Secretary said it is “not like painting your bike” and said we should be “proud of Britain’s role in the world.”
Asked last week by LBC’s Nick Ferrari whether the cost was justified when the pension triple lock could be at risk, Mr Raab said: “I don’t think there’s a trade-off there, but of course we keep our travel fleet up to date, the maintenance and repair.
“It’s really important that the ability of the Prime Minister to be able to get to other places around the world and get back to the UK is critically important.
“There’s regular upgrades that take place, it’s not like painting your bike."
At the time of last week's announcement, the Prime Minister's official spokesman pointed out that the PM was not the only who uses the jet.
He said: "The RAF Voyager used by the royal family and the Prime Minister is currently in Cambridgeshire for pre-planned repainting.
"This will mean that the plane can better represent the UK around the world with national branding, similar to many other leaders' planes, while also retaining its military air-to-air refuelling capability."
The spokesman defended the £900,000 cost, saying: "That incorporates the cost of creating a design that will promote the UK around the world without compromising the plane's vital military role.
"At every stage we have worked to ensure value for money for the UK taxpayer and all of the work has been undertaken in the UK, directly benefiting British suppliers."
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, asked about the repainting costs, backed the outlay on splashing the plane with fresh branding.
"I think that we have always spent money on promoting the UK around the world," he said.
"I see this with creative industries - we genuinely are a creative industries superpower and we should be promoting that and we've done that through the great campaign.
"I think that the work on Voyager is part of that promotion."