Jacob Rees-Mogg sinks Boris Johnson’s plan for a new royal yacht

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said Boris Johnson’s plans for a new royal yacht are not in the “realms of reality” as he suggested it should be scrapped.

The Business Secretary described it as a “ship that has sailed”, as he said the “glorious distraction” set to cost £250 million could not go ahead in a cost-of-living crisis.

However, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the design phase for a new national flagship is due to be completed with an announcement expected to follow.

When prime minister, Mr Johnson had described a new national flagship as a chance for the UK to “show itself off to the world” and “revive the shipbuilding industry”.

Labour had said the plan for a ship to succeed the Royal Yacht Britannia should be scrapped. The money had been set to come from the Ministry of Defence budget.

Queen Elizabeth II funeral
The Royal Yacht Britannia is now moored in Leith, Edinburgh (PA)

Mr Rees-Mogg told a recording of the Chopper’s Politics for the Telegraph: “I think it’s a glorious distraction I’m afraid.

“It’s too late, it was wonderful whilst it lasted but there are lots of things that Tories have a sentimental attachment to but once they’ve gone it’s impossible to bring back.

“I think the royal yacht is in that category and we are facing a cost-of-living problem, I just don’t think it’s in the realms of reality to have a royal yacht when you’re facing a cost-of-living problem.

“Dare I say I think it is a ship that has sailed.”

An MoD spokeswoman said: “The design phase for the national flagship is due to be completed soon and an announcement will be made in due course.”