A Freedom of Information (FoI) response has been published relating to the Speaker’s official travel expenses. Details of the FoI can be found below.
It is an important duty of the Speaker of the House of Commons to represent Parliament abroad and foster good relations with fellow speakers and parliamentarians. The Speaker is committed to encouraging public engagement with Parliament and visits universities, charities and other organisations around the UK to explain and promote the work and role of the House of Commons. These travel costs for the Speaker and accompanying officials - normally one official, occasionally two - span a period of over 3 years and includes a significant amount of outreach activity throughout the United Kingdom. The trips abroad are following invitations from other parliaments and to attend international parliamentary conferences. The vast majority of travel is economy class, except for long haul flights and where other classes may be best value for money or match timing requirements. In line with the House’s commitment to greater transparency these costs will now be published on a quarterly basis.