THE patriotic makeover of a plane used by the prime minister — which cost taxpayers almost £1million — was unveiled yesterday.
The RAF Voyager, previously a military grey colour, has been resprayed in white, with a Union flag on the tailfin and ‘United Kingdom’ written in gold on the fuselage.
The revamp, carried out in Cambridge, was revealed as the jet landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Boris Johnson had previously complained about its drab paintwork. But the cost of the new paint job has been condemned by opposition politicians.
Downing Street said the work would cost taxpayers ‘around £900,000’ and meant the plane could better represent the UK with ‘national branding’. Officials also insisted it could still fulfil its military role as an air-to-air refuelling tanker.
When the price tag was revealed, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: ‘That incorporates the cost of creating a design that will promote the UK around the world without compromising the plane’s vital military role. We have worked to ensure value for money for the UK taxpayer and all the work has been undertaken in the UK.’
In 2018, when still foreign secretary, Mr Johnson complained that the Voyager, shared by the prime minister, senior cabinet members and the royal family, ‘never seems to be available’.