The Sun forgets its owner’s taste for luxury travel in dig at Rachel Reeves’ business class flight to US

The newspaper didn’t dwell on Rupert Murdoch owning an $84 million private jet.

Murdoch's private jet

In a week dominated by yet more Tory sleaze and scandals, the right-wing media must have been desperate to dish some dirt on the shadow cabinet. Sure enough, The Sun came up with the goods, taking aim at Rachel Reeves’ trip to the US in business class.

The Murdoch-owned newspaper did not hold back in reporting that the Shadow Chancellor had been accused of hypocrisy for ‘taking the posh seat while attacking Rishi Sunak and the government for luxury travel.’ Reeves informed the newspaper that no taxpayer money was used to fund the trip, and that a donor paid for it. 

This in itself contrasts to the Prime Minister’s luxury travel which has been funded by the taxpayer. In March, Sunak decided to travel to Southampton and back to London by air rather than by car or train. The PM’s official spokesman confirmed that the helicopter trip was funded by the taxpayer.  Even the Sun had to reference the criticism the Prime Minister came under for the taxpayer-funded helicopter flight to Southampton.

But perhaps even bigger hypocrisy made on The Sun’s behalf is the fact that the newspaper’s owner – who has a fortune worth $8 billion – is the master of luxury travel.  The media mogul’s $84 million private jet is described as the ‘epitome of luxury air travel.’ The G650 is the largest purpose-built private jet on the market. It also boasts the longest, tallest, and most expensive cabin in its class. Murdoch’s private jet can reach 41,000 feet in just 22 seconds and cruise at 956km/h, and has not one but two Rolls-Royce engines.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the Murdoch family had the second biggest private jet carbon footprint in the world. Data by ClimateJets, which investigates the disparity between carbon emissions of the ultra-rich and average Americans, found that in 2022, the Murdochs took 369 flights in four aircraft, equating to 4,357.25 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. The average American emits 15.52 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, to put it into perspective. Thomas Siebel, the billionaire founder of Siebel Systems, topped the list, emitting 4,649.75 metric tonnes of CO2 in the same year.  

According to Oxfam, billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, are responsible for a million times more greenhouse gas emissions than the average person. Research by the charity found that just 125 billionaires emit 393 million tonnes of CO2 every year, the equivalent of 85 million cars.

Naturally, in its desperate attempt to smear the opposition, The Sun didn’t dwell on its owner’s expensive taste in travel.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Rupert Murdoch’s private jet: YouTube screen grab

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