Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of hypocrisy after crowdfunding for a trip to Brazil, after calling for the world to go greener. The former Labour leader, who receives a salary of £84,000 per year, said the aim of the trip was to help elect Workers Party candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula), who was successfully elected yesterday to replace President Jair Bolsonaro.
The 5,300-mile plane journey was slammed by Tory MP Tom Hunt as “yet more hypocrisy”.
While the costs of the trip are being covered by left-wing organisation Progressive International, Mr Corbyn’s page has raised more than £4,000 towards his costs so far.
A spokesperson for Mr Corbyn said: “Jeremy has travelled at the invitation of Brazil’s trade unions, as part of the Progressive International’s mission to defend Brazilian democracy in an election vital for all of humanity.”
Mr Corbyn added: “If you’re able to, please give whatever support you can so we can send these missions…
“It’s about solidarity and helping people.”
Mr Corbyn has previously hit out at British banks for funding meat farms which destroy the Amazon rainforest, saying they are “complicit” in destroying the planet.
According to the carbon footprint calculator MyClimate, a round trip from London to Sao Paolo for one person produces 3.1 tonnes of carbon.
Tory MP Mr Hunt said the “hypocrisy” is “classic Jeremy”.
He added: “He gets on his soap box and preaches to the rest of us that we should give up our foreign holidays, cars and steak dinners, while jet-setting around the world himself.”
Labour MP Zarah Sultana also faced criticism for making the trip to Brazil to support Lula.
She flew to Brazil last Thursday and returned on Tuesday following Lula’s victory against incumbent Mr Bolsonaro.
A spokesperson for Ms Saltana said the MPs were invited to go by the country’s trade unionists.
When asked by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) a spokesperson for Ms Sultana said the flights had been carbon offset.
The group went “to amplify international voices speaking in defence of Brazilian democracy, its people and the Amazon,” they added.
Since taking office Lula has pledged to end deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and introduce a national climate change authority to Brazil.
But Ms Sultana’s journey attracted criticism from Twitter users.
Commenting on a post yesterday, @AlanLabourFan wrote: “You’ve flown on a long haul flight just to get a photo op and you have the nerve to lecture on climate justice?” Another asked: “On environmental grounds how can you justify a long-haul flight to Brazil?”
Others on Twitter slammed the trip as a “jolly” and questioned how it would help her constituents.
Another user, @suzyquiquero, asked: “How does Zarah Sultana’s trip to Brazil help the people of Coventry South?”, while @laelvista said: “I’m lin my ate 40s too and Zarah is my MP. Not impressed she’s in Brazil when Parliament’s sitting.”