Priti Patel’s sacking might but show politically costly for Theresa May. But it’s already clear that in financial phrases alone it is going to go down as one of many pricey cupboard departures ever – at simply in need of £eight,000 on the Guardian’s rigorously constructed estimate.
The abortive spherical journey to Nairobi would have value the taxpayer 1000’s of kilos in wasted air fares which might have been averted if Patel had been ready to withstand her critics.
Patel was scheduled to go on an pre-arranged go to to Africa on Tuesday. The flight was as a result of depart at 5.25pm that day with many urgent questions unanswered about her undeclared conferences with Israeli officers.
It was no shock that the speaker granted Kate Osamor, Patel’s reverse quantity, an pressing Commons query on Tuesday lunchtime. Patel had time to look within the Commons in particular person to face the wrath of MPs and nonetheless catch the 5.25pm flight.
But reasonably than keep, and even cancel her journey, she opted to get an earlier flight to Nairobi at 10.10am. Patel was due to this fact conveniently within the air whereas Alistair Burt, her deputy, was fielding tough questions on her conferences on that vacation to Israel.
Changing flight plans on Kenya Airways comes at a penalty of £240 on some enterprise clbad tickets, however provided that a day’s discover is given. If the Telegraph is appropriate in suggesting that Patel introduced ahead the flight on the final minute, new tickets would have needed to be bought.
Patel’s former division has but to present particulars of the price of the journey which she is known to have made together with her personal secretary. But two last-minute enterprise clbad returns to Nairobi on Kenya Airways would value as much as £5,878, in line with the airline’s web site.
We have no idea the place Patel and her secretary stayed in Nairobi on Tuesday evening as her political future was being determined in London.
Accommodation is unlikely to have been low cost. You can’t get two rooms within the Nairobi’s Intercontinental for lower than £150 and if she stayed on the Crown Plaza lodging it could have been greater than £270.
On Wednesday morning Patel was as a result of fly to Entebbe in Uganda with Liam Fox, the commerce secretary, and the remainder of the entourage. But earlier than boarding she was summoned again to London by the prime minister on one other last-minute flight for 2.
Two enterprise returns from Nairobi to Entebbe would have added one other £1,823 to the price of the journey.
So even with out meals, Patel’s wasted eight,500 mile spherical journey for 2 would have value as much as £7,971. Osamor mentioned it was unacceptable for Patel to not reply questions within the Commons about her conferences with Israelis. It was additionally very costly.
She mentioned: “It was simply unacceptable that Priti Patel failed to show up to the urgent question in Parliament. She should not have been allowed to get on that plane. We deserve to know how much this fiasco has ended up costing the British taxpayer.”