As his government scrambles to get a grip on the crisis consuming the NHS, it has been revealed that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak kicked off the week by taking a taxpayer-funded private plane to Leeds for an NHS visit on Monday.
The UK PM was pictured boarding an RAF plane on Monday morning, despite train journeys between London and Leeds taking just 2 hours 15 minutes.
The decision to take the luxury private plane was defended by Number 10 Downing Street as being the ‘most efficient use of his limited time’, according to reports by Pippa Crearer, Political Editor at The Guardian.
A return train ticket between London and Leeds typically costs between £100 and £155, whereas the prices of chartering private planes in the UK start at around £4,504 per hour according to the website PrivateFly.com, reports The Hoot.
With a flight between London and Leeds estimated at roughly 1 hour and 12 minutes, the PM’s decision to fly by luxury private plane may well have shaved just over an hour off his travelling time each way.
However, if the Tories had not scrapped their proposed high-speed rail line then the rail journey from London to Leeds would have been one hour and 21 minutes.
The PM’s official spokesman said: “The transport the Prime Minister takes will vary and always be done with any interests of what’s the most effective use of his time, allowing him to get around the entirety of the UK when there is a great deal of pressure on his time.
“It will vary on what is the most appropriate.”
Mr Sunak visited Leeds’ Rutland Lodge Medical Practice on Monday to meet with patients and carers focused on providing care outside of the hospital after hosting rare emergency talks with NHS and care leaders over the weekend.
Discharge rates have fallen to a new low in England in recent weeks, with just a third of patients ready to be released from hospital actually leaving.
In response, the government has just announced plans to buy up thousands of care home beds in a bid to free up room in NHS hospitals, as well as ease pressure on A&E and ambulances.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced to parliament this week that the move would be funded by a £200 million pot, that has been found within existing Department of Health and Social Care budgets.
Meanwhile, striking nurses and ambulance workers are still reporting that there is no movement from the government on talks surrounding their working conditions and wages – with the government instead moving today to introduce new anti-strike legislation in parliament.
Feature image – Flickr
Northern Eden Project gets £50m cash injection as part of government ‘levelling up’ fund
A new northern Eden Project focusing on marine life is set to open in Morecambe Bay next year thanks to a huge cash boost from the government’s ‘levelling up’ investment fund.
Named as one of more than 100 projects across the UK to win a share of the £2.1bn fund, the new eco-tourism attraction will be built on the north west coast, in the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe – an hour and a half’s drive from Manchester.
Hoping to replicate the success of Cornwall’s Eden Project, the Eden Project Morecambe (originally named the Eden Project North) will focus on marine life and will feature three impressive shell-shaped pavilions overlooking Morecambe Bay.
The attraction is scheduled to open in 2024 and will appeal to people keen on art, science, adventure, play and performance as well as nature.
Plans to create a second Eden Project in the north of England have been in the running since 2020 but have now been boosted by government support of £50m funding, reports The Hoot.
Part of a wider project aiming to “re-imagine Morecambe as a seaside resort for the 21st Century”, Morecambe’s Tory MP David Morris said it was absolutely “mind-blowing” news.
The investment will cover half of the £100m needed to build the highly anticipated coastal-themed attraction.
Eden Project Morecambe is expected to provide “significant economic, environmental and social benefits” for the area.
Those familiar with the original Eden Project in Cornwall will recognise Eden Project Morecambe as a similar attraction combining “exhibits, performance, learning, play, immersive experiences, world-class horticulture, art, food, beverage and retail spaces”.
Mr Morris said the funding decision had “quite literally changed Morecambe forever. Five years of work has finally come to fruition and, after lobbying four prime ministers and six chancellors, and more meetings and debates in Parliament than I can count, I am absolutely delighted.
“What started off as a dream has now become reality and this will secure prosperity in Morecambe for generations to come.”
Manchester City earns the most revenue of any club in the world as Deloitte reveals latest football rich list
Manchester City has been named the club with the most revenue of any team in the world as finance experts Deloitte have their updated football rich list for 2023.
The Deloitte Football Money League has been running since 1996/97, when Man City‘s worth was just £12.7 million. However, the six-time Premier League winners raked in a whopping £619.1m in the 2021/22 season alone — more than 50 times that amount.
Published on Thursday, the comprehensive football finance report states that City pipped European giants Real Madrid to the top spot, with Los Blancos sitting in second with £604.5m in revenue last season.
Notably, Liverpool also leapfrogged fierce rivals Manchester United to third place, taking in £594.3m to United’s £583.2m. Elsewhere, Qatari-owned PSG are now bringing in more than the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona as well, who previously sat in the top five.
As you can see, English clubs still dominate world football’s highest earners, with 11 of the country’s top-flight teams named in the top 20.
One of the most recent additions to the world football rich list is, obviously, Newcastle United following their recent acquisition by Saudi Arabian owners, ranking 20th with £179.8m in overall revenue compared to £140m from the previous year.
Understandably, the list is heavily European-leaning in general, with other names on the list including iconic continental clubs like Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Athletico Madrid.