Welsh Labour MP calls Boris Johnson’s royal yacht plan a ‘vanity project’
A Welsh Labour MP has called Boris Johnson’s plan for a royal yacht a “vanity project”.
According to Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds, who represents Torfaen, spending £283m on a vessel for the Royal Family would be “wasting” taxpayers’ money.
He was responding to a report in The Sunday Times that senior members of the Royal Family won’t use to the yacht for holidays after a row about the huge price tag.
According to a source close to the royal household the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge have no interest in what Downing Street is calling a “national flagship” to replace the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was scrapped in 1997.
The UK Government’s Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is reportedly reluctant to pay for the project.
Thomas-Symonds said: “The yacht is clearly a vanity project for the Prime Minister, and, instead of wasting £283m of taxpayers’ money, he should be using the funds to address the soaring anti-social behaviour that is blighting communities across the country.”
A source close to the royal household told The Sunday Times: “No one wants this vessel at the palace.
“Charles doesn’t want it. William has no interest in it. He has no interest in naval things at all. All this controversy has just put them off even more.
“Will they go on board to promote trade if they’re in the area? Of course. But you won’t get them taking it up to the west coast of Scotland like the Duke of Edinburgh used to.”
According to senior government sources the Ministry of Defence has annoyed Johnson by continuing to resist calls to foot the entire £200m bill. “People in the MoD are asking No 10, ‘What do you want us to scrap to pay for it?’ They’re threatening to cut another surface vessel or some F-35 jets. Boris is furious about the whole thing. He loves the plan.”
Johnson believes the ship can be used to promote trade deals and his vision of post-Brexit “global Britain”, however, other political sources say he has been was warned several times by aides that the plan was “a disaster in the making”.