David Cameron and Rishi Sunak have come under fire after it emerged they'd be jetting to Dubai on different planes - for a vital summit on climate change.
The Tory duo are accused of "sending the wrong signals" to the rest of the world ahead of the Cop28 talks. They are part of a UK delegation including Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho - who MPs heard has already travelled to the United Arab Emirates - and the King.
All of them are taking different planes. Lib Dem climate spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse said: "Sunak and Cameron travelling to this vital summit in separate jets is not just a waste of taxpayers' cash, it sends all the wrong signals about the UK's climate commitments. The UK should be playing a leading role at COP28 and driving our planet forward to a cleaner future. Instead, this government is slashing net zero targets at home while taking polluting private flights abroad."
A Downing Street spokesman said: "We are not anti-flying. We do not seek to restrict the public from doing so and it's important the UK has strong attendance at Cop28 given we continue to be a world leader in tackling climate change".
It is not clear who will be travelling on 'Cam Force One' - which had a £10million refit when the Foreign Secretary was PM. The Government spent the cash refitting an RAF plane so that it could be used by VIPs. But he only got to fly on the aircraft during one trip as he attended a Nato summit in Warsaw, Poland, a few days before he left No10 in July 2016.
The plane is shared by senior Government ministers and members of the Royal Family.
It is based on an Airbus A330 with a first class cabin for the PM or leading VIP on the flight, with club class seating for business delegates and conventional economy class seating at the rear, used typically by the Press. After Boris Johnson complained about the grey aircraft being drab, £900,000 was spent painting it red, white and blue so he could travel the globe in the colours of the Union Flag. A further £800,000 was spent on giving a smaller Airbus A321 that the Government leases a similar paint job.
Both Mr Sunak and Lord Cameron will touch down with criticism ringing in their ears. In a blistering attack in the Commons, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said the UK is "way off track" for meeting its Net Zero commitments. And she lashed out at Mr Sunak's decision to plough ahead with new drilling in the North Sea, which has been widely attacked by environmental groups.
Demanding new regulations that don't amount to "business as usual", Ms Lucas said: ""If this Government is serious about leading by example will they now finally reverse the greenlighting of the obscene Rosebank oil field?"
The Government approved oil extraction 80 miles off the Shetland coast in September. The former Green leader pointed out that the Climate Change Committee said the UK isn't on track to meet emissions targets by 2030.
She told energy minister Amanda Solloway: "She will know targets without plans are cheap." Ms Solloway shot back: "This Government does take this incredibly seriously, there are two way of demonstrating that; one is that the minister who usually deals with this is actually ready at Cop28 for Cop28 and also we now have a distinct department for this very nature, which is the Department for Net Zero and Energy Security."