hp sauce

Unfit to Fly
Aerospace, Issue 1531

DEFENCE secretary Ben Wallace penned a column in the Sunday Times extolling the virtues of Britain’s aerospace industry ahead of a recent trip to the Middle East. He pointed out its role in sustaining jobs and keeping our forces safe. In fact, he stated, during lockdown “the British aerospace industry has been at the forefront of our resilience”.

raf-voyager.jpg
An RAF Voyager
Stranded minister
With that, Wallace headed off on his trip to promote British aerospace. Alas, the industry’s resilience was not on display when he went to board his RAF Voyager for the flight to Oman. It was declared unfit to fly after a problem with its pressurisation, and a plane earmarked for bringing British troops back from Estonia was diverted to rescue the stranded minister. Not a great way to start his PR tour.

Air-to-air refuelling
The broken-down RAF Voyager is part of a £10.5bn PFI deal between the government and private contractor AirTanker, signed in 2008. The contract for 14 aircraft capable of air-to-air refuelling took nine years to negotiate and the Commons public accounts committee later accused the Ministry of Defence of “astonishing” failures in its purchase of the fleet.

The MPs said the MoD did not know if the deal was good value for money – and had signed it after its own project team advised that there were “significant concerns” over the bid.

To read all these stories in full, please buy issue 1531 of Private Eye - you can subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale: 6th October 2020
gnitty

More top stories in the latest issue:

?CONTRACT TRACING
Cabinet Office minister Lord Agnew recently shifted £90,000 worth of shares that he held in AI firm Faculty into a blind trust, after the firm won 14 Whitehall contracts in the past two years.

SUGAR RUSH
A proposed zero tariff on sugar imports is exactly what Covid Britain is not calling for.

AN ILFORD WIND
Labour dismisses complaint against Redbridge council leader Jas Athwal, which blocked him from standing for election in 2019.

SPEAKER SPEAKS OUT
Sir Lindsay Hoyle continues to troll the health secretary after the closure of Chorley Hospital’s A&E.

NUMBER POWER
The new National Data Service shows surprising faith in algorithmic policy making after previous failures of government-by-numbers.

HOUSING NEWS
The Affordable Homes Programme will offer grant for social rent homes, the most affordable tenure. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near enough.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
ONLY IN THE MAGAZINE
Private Eye Issue 1531
In This Issue
Nursery Times: Operation Mooshot Announced... Man has Covid test… Scientists criticise Van Morrison findings… The president addresses the nation on the catastrophic forest conflagrations on the West Coast… New Labour Party rising star… Coming soon! Garrick Club Barbie… Barbara Amiel’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

Planet Football
Gareth Bale’s tax troubles

Sri Lanka Watch
Covid provide cover for disappearances

Shine a Light
The end of an era for UK lighthouses

Read these stories and much more - only in the magazine. Subscribe here to get delivery direct to your home and never miss an issue!
ONLY £2.00
SUBSCRIBE HERE
NEXT ISSUE ON SALE
6th October 2020
WHY SUBSCRIBE?
Private Eye Issue 1530
MORE FROM PRIVATE EYE