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Anger as ‘giggling’ Foreign Office officials enjoy ‘£50,000’ liquor on air

Foreign Office officials enjoyed a £50,000 booze in the air on the Prime Minister’s plane – as millions prepare for a cost of living crisis, it was claimed last night.

Activists reacted furiously to pictures of the “giggling” Mandarins boarding the plane, dubbed “Baby Boris Force One,” where they are said to have enjoyed cream leather seats with faux wood paneling, luxurious crystal glasses and fine bone china tableware.

They relaxed on a 700-mile round trip from Stansted Airport to the Lake District and back in what the government described as a “maintenance trip”.

Staff are reported to have enjoyed a fancy dinner while the Foreign Office confirmed to the Sun there was alcohol on board but refused to say if alcohol was consumed. Sources said the cost of the Jolly was likely around £50,000.

The group of 12 men and women – who would normally have worked on important foreign issues, including possibly the war in Ukraine – appeared to be sunning themselves VIP-style on their day and taking selfies on the red carpet laid out for them and again after boarding to make reportedly the Airbus A321.

Emily Thornberry, Labor Shadow Trade Secretary, said: “This would be absolutely disgraceful behavior at the best of times, but in the midst of our country’s current crisis it is beyond description.”

John O’Connell, CEO of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “Taxpayers will wonder why letter writers were privileged to take a government jet for a spin.”

Staff relaxed on a 700-mile round-trip journey from Stansted Airport to the Lake District and back in what the government described as a

Staff relaxed on a 700-mile round-trip journey from Stansted Airport to the Lake District and back in what the government described as a “maintenance trip”.

The plane, which officials enjoyed and which was recently the subject of a £900,000 new livery, is expected to take the new Prime Minister to Balmoral next Tuesday for the Queen's swearing-in ceremony

The plane, which officials enjoyed and which was recently the subject of a £900,000 new livery, is expected to take the new Prime Minister to Balmoral next Tuesday for the Queen’s swearing-in ceremony

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie walk after disembarking from their plane as they arrive for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie walk after disembarking from their plane as they arrive for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda

Officials have been accused of taking advantage of a range of perks in recent months, including offers to work from home permanently.

Official figures show that the number of government employees on special “work from home” contracts has nearly tripled since the pandemic.

In 2019-20 there were 183 homeworkers in eight of Whitehall’s main departments, rising to 309 the following year and 530 in 2021-22.

The biggest increase has been in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), where the number rose to 380 from 117 before Covid earlier this year.

In the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the number rose from 14 to 60 over the same period.

Meanwhile, experts have warned that new gold-plated pensions paid to MPs, civil servants and other public sector workers will cost taxpayers an extra £6billion this year alone due to rampant inflation.

This will add to the huge annual bill for retired government employees, which already totals £60bn – a third more than the entire defense budget.

It will also stoke a simmering dispute over “pension apartheid” between lavish government provident policies and the substandard, risky plans for workers in the wealth-creating private sector.

This comes amid ever-increasing pressure on ordinary families, with the boss of Britain’s third largest energy company admitting millions are in for “a winter like never before” and claiming the number of Britons living in poverty will rise from three million to 14 million.

Ovo Energy chief Stephen Fitzpatrick said helping low-income families with energy bills “must be the next Prime Minister’s first task” as annual gas and electricity bills are expected to reach £7,263 by next April.

And inflation could hit 22.4 percent next year if gas prices stay as high as they are now, according to a startling Goldman Sachs forecast.

The plane, which officials enjoyed and which was recently the subject of a £900,000 new livery, is expected to take the new Prime Minister to Balmoral next Tuesday for the Queen’s swearing-in ceremony.

A government spokesman told the Sun: “In order to comply with Airbus and airline industry regulations, the aircraft was required by law to conduct a maintenance flight before September 4 or face significant additional storage costs.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11171143/Fury-giggling-Foreign-Office-civil-servants-enjoy-50-000-booze-air.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Anger as ‘giggling’ Foreign Office officials enjoy ‘£50,000’ liquor on air

Emma Colton

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