Labour MP Emily Thornberry asked the Secretary of State for International Trade the cost of her visit to Japan between the 21st and 24th of October 2020. In the initial answer, the total cost was given as £18,884.38, including only £182.74 spent on expenses.
A subsequent freedom of information request showed that in reality £20,782.08 was spent. Truss’ junior minister, Greg Hands, provided a ministerial correction. This highlighted that £2,080.44 was spent on subsistence and expenses. This means, that over the three night trip, nearly £700 was spent a day on expenses, or around £170 per person per day.
The Department for International Trade stated that the initial figures were wrong due to an ‘administrative error’. A freedom of information request and a ministerial correction were required for the correct figures to be released.
The initial figures provided were wrong. The corrected figures were only provided following a Freedom of Information Request and they required a ministerial correction.. A comparable error followed Liz Truss’ December 2020 trip to Singapore.
We approached Greg Hands's office, Liz Truss’ office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to give them a chance to comment, but received no response.