Hain flew in specially chartered planes to a Dublin rugby international and two Sligo motor racing events within the past year. The bill for Hain’s costly jollies comes to £10,754. Hain, a keen motorsports fan, flew with one official last October to Sligo to attend a motorsports event. The cost of this one-day trip was £2,491. In February he flew to Dublin to attend an Ireland versus Wales rugby match. Three officials went with him and the bill for the one-day trip came to £5,002. In March, he was back in Sligo again to attend another Rally Ireland event. Two officials flew with him on a charter plane for a two-day stay which cost £3,271.
The use of taxpayer-funded charter flights to attend jollies has even provoked the Conservative Party’s Northern Ireland spokesman, David Lidington: “Everyone accepts the need for Ministers to travel, sometimes at short notice, but these three trips sound like costly jollies at taxpayers’ expense.” Guido thinks Hain can get a bloody Ryanair flight to the rugby at his own expense like the rest of us.