Sinking fast: Jeremy Hunt to ditch Boris Johnson’s £250m Brexit Britain ship
A £250m national flagship proposed by former prime minister Boris Johnson while in office will be cancelled by the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, according to various news reports.
In an upcoming round of deep spending cuts, most likely to be announced next week, Hunt reportedly plans to drop the Ministry of Defence project.
So far, the MoD has spent nearly £2.5m on staffing costs and consultancy fees related to the project, according to the Daily Mirror.
Johnson’s ambition was reportedly for the ship to “promote the best of Brexit Britain”.
The vessel was supposed to host receptions, diplomatic meetings and act as a showcase during trade fairs abroad.
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg reportedly called the ship as “a glorious distraction” from the ongoing cost of livingc risis.
“I don’t think it’s in the realms of reality to have a royal yacht when you’re facing a cost-of-living problem.”Jacob Rees-Mogg
In recent weeks it has become increasingly clear that the mood in Westminster has changed with regards to Boris Johnson’s ‘vanity project’.
Recently, Defence Minister Ben Wallace said “the MoD has not assumed any liability for costs incurred by bidders in the design competition. And no design or manufacturing contracts have been placed.”
His response came after a question by Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones, a Labour MP, over whether the new government had any plans to go ahead with the expensive ship, first proposed by Boris Johnson.
“This complete waste of taxpayer money has obviously been sunk.”Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones
“The Navy never wanted it in the first place and It was just one big Boris Johnson vanity project,” Jones told the Daily Mirror.
“The only way the project may still stay afloat is if Mr Johnson makes an extraordinary comeback as Prime Minister,” he said.
Johnson, however, indicated on Sunday evening he is not running for leader of the Tory party, this stage, which ultimately resulted in Rishi Sunak being named prime minister elect, yesterday afternoon.
The MoD declined to comment but said that “an announcement will be made in due course.”