Military chief’s first-class rule break

By staff

The outgoing head of Britain’s armed forces continued to take first-class flights after new rules were introduced urging Ministry of Defence (MoD) staff to travel as cheaply as possible, it has emerged.

The news comes two days after defence secretary Liam Fox confirmed Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, whose £245,000 salary makes him the fourth highest paid public sector worker in the country, is leaving his post this autumn six months sooner than planned.

A freedom of information request by the Sun newspaper revealed Sir Jock had travelled first-class twice since the cheapest option available was made mandatory under MoD rules.

Between April 2009 and February 2010 Sir Jock took 20 first-class flights on commercial airlines and 13 business class flights, costing a total of nearly £60,000.

“The CDS frequently travels to visit our Armed Forces deployed worldwide and to meet overseas government and military leaders as an essential part of his professional duties,” a Ministry of Defence spokesperson said.

“The long distance nature of many of the journeys he takes require him to travel at a standard that allows him to work en route and to continue working immediately on arrival.”