Boris Johnson to spend £200m on 'national ship' to replace Royal Yacht Britannia

Despite the UK trying to recoup more than £300bn spent on Covid, the Prime Minister is set to splurge on a taxpayer-funded vessel to replace Royal Yacht Britannia

First came the Boris Bike. Today the PM unveils the Boris Boat.

This is an artist impression of the £200million luxury vessel Boris Johnson has ordered to be built to replace the Royal Yacht Britannia decommissioned in 1997.

But it is not for the use of the Queen. This will be the PM’s floating palace when he is on trade missions abroad or at international summits.

A No10 source said: “Its role will be distinct from that of any previous national flagship.

“A typical six month itinerary might include docking at a port in a country where a British Prime Ministerial visit is taking place.”

And the PM said: “Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British.”

No name has been chosen for the ship.

Buckingham Palace is not enthusiastic about calling it the Prince Philip in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh who died in April.

The vessel will be used to host high level trade negotiations and shows and will sail the world promoting Britain.

Boris Johnson looks through binoculars on the bridge of the Isle of Wight ferry



Building begins in the UK next year and she is expected to make her maiden voyage within four years crewed by the Royal Navy and stay in service for three decades.

The tendering process for the design and construction of the vessel will launch shortly, with an emphasis on showcasing British design expertise and the latest innovations in green technology.

There are nearly 4,000 Boris bikes still on the road. Despite their nickname they were introduced by Ken Livingstone 10 years ago when he was Mr Johnson’s predecessor as Mayor of London.

The announcement of the vessel comes at the end of a difficult week for the Prime Minister, which has seen him savaged by former aide Dominic Cummings, who claimed the Government was responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

He has also faced claims that his past comments about burka-wearing women had contributed to an impression that the Conservative Party is “insensitive to Muslim communities”.

It comes after a string of devastating claims from Dominic Cummings



And the ministerial sleaze watchdog said he was “unwise” to allow the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat to go ahead without “more rigorous regard for how this would be funded”.

Shadow Treasury chief secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Right now our country faces huge challenges, and there’s no sign the government has a plan for the recovery.

“We want to see public money used for targeted investment in a green economic recovery, resources for our NHS, and supporting families to succeed.

“If this ship is going to be part of a genuine plan for Britain’s future, the government must set out clearly how it will boost trade, jobs and growth in every corner of our country.

“We’d want to see it built in Britain, supporting jobs and skills in shipyards here, and with a real focus on value for money at every stage.”


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