The National:

AS the man who called for £100 million to be spent on a new Royal Yacht Britannia to “boost morale” in the UK, Lord Digby Jones isn’t exactly an authority figure on budgeting.

But the peer still thinks he knows a bargain when he sees one.

Just short of £1m to spruce up Boris Johnson’s jet with Union flag colours? Now that’s “tremendous value for money”, according to the former Labour minister.

If it were anyone else you’d have to suspect a wind-up. But given Jones’s recent Twitter outbursts there’s not much to suggest the peer is being anything but dead serious.

He was of course reacting to the news that a military plane used by Westminster chiefs and royal family members is to be repainted with red, white and blue colours – at a cost of around £900,000.

READ MORE: SNP blast Boris Johnson's £1m Union flag plane paint job

Coming during a public health emergency and at a time when the UK is facing a momentous economic recession, the news was not greeted unanimously with open arms.

But Jones seems to agree with the Prime Minister, who had previously complained about the RAF Voyager’s grey colour and called for a “Brexit plane” to promote the Government’s vision of a “global Britain”.

The lord tweeted: “£900k to repaint the Official PM Plane in our Nation’s colours? Tremendous value for money.

“Many of our rival trading countries do this & in a post-Brexit, post-Covid trading & investment World we need to bang the UK drum in every way we can.

“For too long we have ridiculously anonymised our Leaders’ overseas visits, almost as if we’re embarrassed to show off this great Nation. It must stop. Go UK!”

Go in that direction if you want, but Scotland won’t be dragged down that path for much longer.