Ken Livingstone’s trip to Cuba and aborted journey to Venezuela cost Londoners almost £30,000 according to figures released to the Assembly today.
Costs for the the Mayor and four staff to stay in Cuba were approximately £20,000 which included £11,086 for flights. These costs were originally reported to be £16,991 but have been revised by the Mayor’s office after factoring in a refund on flight tickets.
The officials continued on to Venezuela at a cost of £16,000 including £12,948 on flights.
Defending the trips Mr Livingstone said “Since I was first elected in 2000, I have spent an average of just ten days a year – less than 3% of the time – on mayoral trips abroad.
“Given that Cuba plays a central role in the international Olympic and sporting movement, particularly in fields like boxing, the costs of my visit to Cuba are modest and in line with the costs incurred on other mayoral trips.”
“Similarly, the costs of the advance trip by key staff to Venezuela to prepare for the visit were also modest.”
The figures were published after demands from the London Assembly to reveal costs of the trip to Cuba and Mr Livingstone’s cancelled journey to Venezuela the Mayor’s office.