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Big questions remain on Arlene Foster's £20k flight

ON JULY 3, 2017, your political correspondent Noel McAdam reported that the Conservative Party paid a staggering £20,000 to fly First Minister Arlene Foster home in an RAF flight after signing the £1bn deal to support the current lame-duck Tory Government.

This was because, it was subsequently pointed out by senior civil servants, it could not be paid out of the public purse, as it would breach anti-corruption rules, which ban ministers from charging taxpayers for political activities.

Contrast this with recent Press reports of the resignation of Donald Trump's health and human services secretary, Tom Price, over his use of government-funded jets for work and personal business, in particular a chartered $25,000 flight from Washington's Dulles Airport to Philadelphia, when a return train ticket was available for less than $100.

It would thus appear that politicians in the US come under far more public scrutiny than their counterparts in the UK.

Just why First Minster Arlene Foster agreed to be flown back on a £20,000 RAF flight, instead of taking a low-cost commercial airline, costing between £40 and £50, I think we, the electorate, should be told.

CADOGAN WEST

Strangford, Co Down

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