'The Ministry of Defence has reportedly banned Philip Hammond from using a fleet of RAF jets and helicopters used by senior members of the Government.
The Treasury has been accused of owing a six-figure sum over previous flights made with No 32 (The Royal) Squadron, and until that bill is settled Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials who take VIP bookings have allegedly been ordered to to refuse any more travel requests.
Mr Hammond has used BAe 146 jets and A109 helicopters from the squadron on more than 20 official business-trips this year. He has taken flights to Manchester, Brussels and Frankfurt.
“At the same time as claiming our brave armed forces don’t need any more money and that the army only needs 50,000 troops, it is a huge double-standard to willingly use the armed forces’ facilities at the same time as refusing to pay for them,” an MoD source told The Times, which originally reported the story.
The ban comes as Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is preparing to push back against potential financial cuts to the armed forces, after the Chancellor reportedly told Theresa May the army could cope with 50,000 troops, down from its present strength of 77,400.
Some Conservative MPs have threatened to resign if the number goes below 70,000. Junior defence minister and former soldier Tobias Ellwood expressed “deep discomfort” at the cost-saving plans.'
Read more: Ministry of Defence ‘bans Philip Hammond from using RAF jets and helicopters over unpaid Treasury bill’
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