Labour MP chides Chancellor after his £10,000 helicopter trip to Welsh Conservative conference
A Welsh MP says Chancellor Rishi Sunak would not have needed to fly by helicopter to the Welsh Conservative Party conference last weekend if Wales had its fair share of HS2 cash.
Rishi Sunak reportedly paid more than £10,000 to fly by private helicopter to attend a dinner at the Welsh Conservative conference in Newton.
The Chancellor paid out of his own pocket for a return flight from Battersea heliport to the Conservative conference in Powys.
Shadow Wales minister Gerald Jones said that if Wales had decent railway links, the helicopter ride wouldn’t have been needed.
During Wales Questions this morning at Westminster, Gerald Jones said: “Wales has 11% of the UK railway infrastructure but in recent years only received 1% of the Government’s investment.
“If that wasn’t bad enough, classifying HS2 as an England and Wales project is denying Wales nearly £5 billion of investment.
“I know the Secretary of State doesn’t like us reminding the Welsh public about his Government short changing Wales.
“But now the leader of the Welsh Conservatives agrees with us, as does the Welsh affairs select committee.
“Perhaps if the Government had given Wales a fair settlement to upgrade its railways, the Chancellor wouldn’t have to fork out £10,000 for a helicopter to make a round trip from London to Powys.
“When is the Secretary of State going to use his position at the Cabinet table to ensure that his government coughs up?”
Wales Secretary Simon Hart said Mr Jones had made “slightly trite comments”, adding: “I would have thought better of him had he avoided them.”
Mr Hart said the UK Government had invested £340 million in Wales’ rail infrastructure, adding: “I think that he underestimates, and he undervalues the investments that we are already making.”
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