Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 12th November 2010.

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Photo of Denis MacShane Denis MacShane Labour, Rotherham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what flights on official business he has taken with commercial airlines since his appointment; in which class he travelled; and in which class any accompanying (a) officials and (b) advisers flew.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

As set out in the Ministerial Code, Departments publish, at least quarterly, details of all travel overseas by Ministers. I refer the hon. Member to the Official Report of 28 October 2010, column 18WS, where my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced the publication of details concerning Ministers' overseas travel during the period 13 May to 31 July 2010.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary travels in business class on scheduled flights. Subject to operational requirements, officials and advisers travelling with him normally travel in the same class. If the flight is under five hours, one official normally travels in business with him, and the rest in economy. By exception the Foreign Secretary travels on charter flights only when a scheduled service is not available or when the requirements of official or parliamentary business or security considerations preclude the journey being made by a scheduled service.

All expenditure occurred on official travel is kept under rigorous scrutiny to ensure value for money and effectiveness. Travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial code and Civil Service Management code.

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