Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ken Livingstone's £1000 a Minute Press Conference

It's a hard life. Ken Livingstone's four day junket important trip to Latin America cost London council tax payers a massive £36,000. The mayor and four officials stopped in Cuba, paying out £16,991 in flight tickets and £1,530 for accommodation. Meals cost £132. Transport added £195.30 to the bill, while telecoms and business services such as hiring telephones cost £202.80.Another £16,491.83 was paid out on the aborted Venezuelan trip. Flights for four officials cost £12,948.13 along with £3,469.20 on accommodation and £74.50 xpenses.

Mr Livingstone said he had been invited by British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan to attend the International Olympic Committee's Sport for All congress in Havana, Cuba. He spent about 30 minutes there at the closing press conference. Then, after the Venezuelan leg of his tour was cancelled, his four-and-a-half day stay in Cuba had to be extended by another day so he could catch a flight home.

Defending his trip, Mr Livingstone told a City Hall press conference this morning: "Of course I am not happy. I will have to go separately to Venezuela when I open the office there. I will miss my children. I will have to go to the airport, which I hate, have a long flight, which I loathe, and rush back as soon as possible."

Oh the burdens of Office.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

it must be hard having an ideological commitment to spending taxpayers money to visit communist countries and dream wistfully about how wonderful they are.

Sir Bentley Pauncefoot said...

Mayor Livingstone's deplorable jolly is itemised in all of the exquisite detail that the campaign in your previous "Follow the Money" posting might provide for central government spending.

I fail to see, however, that knowing precisely the amount of money wasted by the Mayor will make the slightest contribution to preventing a recurrence.

Transparency is an illusory benefit, at least in this case, because politicians are not easily shamed.

f dobbo said...

Ken, Ken, Ken, for the sake of your family please don't go!!

The plane might crash!

Anonymous said...

Leave poor Ken alone. There are far more deserving targets of ire.

Isn't he getting oil from Chavez anyway to subsidise these junkets?

And he is going to enforce zero tolerance on 4*4s in the centre of London to negate his airline travel, so good on him I say.

Anyone who is willing to stand up to those bullying, hypocritcal fibbers at Dacre Towers deserves our unquestioning support.

Anonymous said...

Livingstone is pulling all the stops out to help his friend Fidel win the next General Election.

It's neck and neck in Havana, I hear.

David K said...

Given his announcements today on Congestion charges in London. Anyone calculated the Co2 cost of his trip? What is this trip in "gaz guzzler" terms?

Johnny Norfolk said...

I wonder why Mrs T got rid of him.

What another Labour waste of space.

Vlad the Impala said...

Can we get him the next ambassadorship to Havana, please? On a more or less semi-permanent basis. What a complete hypocrite; his answer to Sky News' question about the carbon cost of his £36K half hour of infamy was a model of newt-like dissemblage.

Bob Piper said...

Oh the burdens of Office.

Perhaps you would like to challenge him for the burden. I understand the Tories are desperately fishing around for another mug to get a slapping.

Anonymous said...

Come the revolution he'll be the first up against the wall to be machine gunned (possibly by Blunkett - no need to tell him who the target is).
Then we abolish the death penalty.

Chuck Unsworth said...

I'm perfectly happy that Livingstone should - at our expense - go to Venezuela, Cuba etc.

Just as long as it's a one-way ticket.

Anonymous said...

If Ken is such crap Iain, how come you Tories can't get any one half decent to run against him: fancy a go yourself!

Anonymous said...

what amazes me, is that for all his blather about climate change (on which I have to say I largely agree with him), no one in the Assembly or press has totted up all his and his officials' flights and worked out the carbon footprint. it must be massive by now - he's been abroad an awful lot this year.

Iain Dale said...

Bob and Anonymous, many thanks for your kind encouragement to put my name forward. I think it is safe to say that hell would freeze over first...

Bob Piper said...

Iain... "I think it is safe to say that hell would freeze over first..."

Do you mean before you would stand, or before a Tory would win? I mean, at least if you stand against Ken, you wouldn't have to worry about what you would do if you won.

judith said...

Cor, you should hear my Cuban friend on the Mayor's visit. She went back to Cuba last year to see family - agriculture in a terrible state, good medical care only if you know the right people and can get hold of drugs from the USA, etc - hey, sounds a bit like the UK under Labour! And didn't the Venezualan oil deal fall through?

Shotgun said...

I hated this fucker in the eighties, and I have grown ever more contemptuous of him ever since...and he is also a true son of New Labour from the old left...fat fucker Prescot style.

andrew said...

I hope his plane goes down. No, really I do.

Ross F said...

"Oh the burdens of Office."

Since when has municipal government required required foreign trips?

Anonymous said...

I'd be delighted if Ken's junket cost 50K. Given that he was espousing standard political fare for the 21st century at least a quarter of a century ago. Unlike the sages and prophets posting comments here. Johnny come lately the lot of you.

Anonymous said...

What office was he opening? Or is london no longer the capital of England,just a eussr state and therfore can have its own office in these countries bypassing the British embasies.

Anonymous said...

Poor Ken- he seemed to be enjoying himself when I bumped into him drinking frozen daiquiries in Hemingway's favourite bar La Floridita!