Sadiq Khan and his team's US trip cost £34,263
Revealed: Sadiq Khan’s four-day US tour including trip to cannabis farm cost British taxpayers £34,000 including stay at £235-a-night four star hotel and New York business flights
- The Mayor, 51, went on a four-day trip to America last month to promote London
- His unusual itinerary saw him visit a cannabis farm and one legal high shop
- So far £34,263 has been billed for the trip, but the number could rise
- Mayor’s press office refused to comment in time for publication
Sadiq Khan and his City Hall delegation blew at least £34,263 on his trip around America, which saw him visit a cannabis farm and meet James Corden.
The Mayor, 51, was widely savaged for his jaunt to the drug producers and subsequent call to legalise it in London.
He took with him a eight-strong delegation who all enjoyed Business class luxury on the United Airlines flights out from the capital to New York.
While in the Big Apple they relaxed in the four-star Lexington Hotel New York, which costs £236.66 per person per night.
Flight costs – which totalled £2,802.36 – would have been even more expensive, save for a deal the airline struck with City Hall.
Ground transport was £21,108.45 and miscellaneous costs – which have not been explained – came to £572.52.
Among these were the Mayor’s own expenses of £254.76 for his flights, £794.19 for his hotel and so far just £35.51 was spent on four meals. More expenses are expected to be submitted which will increase the cost.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan walks through cannabis plants which are being legally cultivated at ‘Traditional’ a licensed factory in Los Angeles, Wednesday May 11, 2022
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan talking to late-night TV host James Corden at a reception for the creative industries hosted by the mayor in Hollywood, Tuesday May 10, 2022
The costs were revealed after a Freedom of Information Act request from The Spectator. This afternoon the Mayor’s Office refused to comment in time for publication.
Mr Khan’s four-day tour of the US, included visits to New York, San Francisco and LA and saw him chat with late-night TV host James Corden and Love Actually director Richard Curtis one evening.
He met with LA mayor Eric Garcetti, and visited a cannabis dispensary and farm in the city to see what lessons could be learned in the UK in responding to the challenges of drugs.
Speaking at the Traditional cannabis dispensary and cultivation centre in downtown LA, Mr Khan said that an ‘honest, open’ conversation was needed about UK cannabis laws, adding that visiting the facility had been ‘fascinating’.
‘We need to have an honest, open conversation about the evidence in relation to the history of cannabis and our laws in the UK and our experience of the health consequences in relation to crime and the community,’ he said.
‘The best way to do that will be with the drugs commission we’ve now set up.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan pitches the first ball at the San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies baseball game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, May 10, 2022
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking during a visit to the Islamic Centre of Southern California in Los Angeles, May 11, 2022
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (left) meeting Mayor of LA Eric Garcetti at City Hall in Los Angeles on May 11, 2022
‘You can hear from the experts, that’s one thing, but seeing it for yourself… hearing from those who cultivate and grow this plant has been fascinating.’
Mr Khan later visited Gorrila RX Wellness shop in the Crenshaw area of the city, which stocks 1,900 brands of cannabis-related products including beverages, edibles and coffee beans.
Kika Keith, owner of the shop, said the decriminalisation of cannabis in the UK would ‘tremendously help’ London’s black community.
The drug-themed element of the trip proved to be controversial.
Home Secretary Priti Patel slated him and declared ‘drugs ruin communities, tear apart families and destroy lives’.
Mrs Patel hit out at Mr Khan after the pictures emerged of him in the US – on what he called a trip to ‘bang the drum’ for London – visiting a legal drug farm and shop.
But the photoshot – which featured him looking serious surrounded by the plants – has prompted utter disbelief in some quarters.
And his new decriminalisation group put him on a collision course with Labour leader Keir Starmer.
A party spokesperson confirmed: ‘Labour does not support changing the law on drugs.
‘Drugs policy is not devolved to mayors and under Labour would continue to be set by national government.’
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