Starmer defends taking private jet from Wales to Scotland

Sir Keir Starmer has defended his decision to fly by private jet between Wales and Scotland, saying it was the most “efficient” way to travel between campaign events.

The Labour leader confirmed on Friday that he had taken a private plane to Inverclyde after campaigning in south Wales the day before.

He said: “We did use a private jet because we needed to get very quickly to Scotland from Wales yesterday, and we have to use the most efficient form of transport in the middle of a very, very busy General Election campaign.

“We offset the carbon, we always do whenever we use transport in the air.”

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Sir Keir Starmer speaks at the launch of Labour’s six steps for change in Wales (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He added: “We’ve got five weeks to take our argument to the country, I need to get across the country to speak to as many people as possible, and from time to time we have to do it as efficiently as possible.”

Labour has previously criticised the Prime Minister for using private planes and helicopters to travel around the country, describing him as “out of touch”.

Rachel Reeves has also promised to crack down on “Tory ministers’ private jet habit” if Labour comes to power, targeting ministers’ use of chartered flights to travel abroad.

Rishi Sunak has similarly said using private jets is “the most efficient use of my time” when challenged over his flights.

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Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden (James Manning/PA)

Tory chairman Richard Holden said: “Nothing better illustrates Starmerism than the fact Sir Keir has flown on a private jet to Scotland, to launch a stock logo of something U-turning in on itself, for an energy company which won’t produce any energy – that’s not a plan to keep our energy secure and our country protected from Putin.”

Sir Keir was in Greenock on Friday to launch both Labour’s “six first steps for Scotland” and the logo for the proposed GB Energy as part of the party’s General Election campaign.

Labour’s plan for GB Energy would see a publicly owned company, headquartered in Scotland, that would invest in domestic renewable energy projects.

The Prime Minister was also faced with questions about his use of helicopters on the campaign trail.

Mr Sunak was asked whether he preferred using them or trains to travel after he rode a steam train on the East Lancashire Railway.

“Now, I’m not interested in how politicians get around, I’m interested in talking to as many people as I can,” the Prime Minister said.

He described the heritage railway as “fantastic” and spoke about meeting with apprentices ahead of the trip.