Rishi Sunak has defended his use of private jets for trips within the UK, saying it was "the most efficient use” of his time".

In a bad-tempered and awkward interview with the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, the Prime Minister suggested those criticising him wanted to ban holidays.

The Conservative leader has been criticised in recent months for his frequent use of helicopters.

Over the weekend, it emerged he borrowed a party's donor's chopper to travel to Wrexham in Wales.

The journey would have taken just 10 minutes longer by train.

Flying is, however, far, far quicker than train when travelling between London and the North East of Scotland. 

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Mr Sunak, who was speaking as prepared to travel to Scotland to unveil plans for a new North Sea carbon capture scheme, was only on air briefly, after Number 10 limited the exchange to just five minutes.

Host Martin Geissler started the interview by pointing out how little time the show was getting with Mr Sunak.

“Thanks very much indeed for being with us this morning. Your team trailed this overnight as your big interview, but they’ve also told us, rather disappointingly, we’re strictly limited to five minutes with you.

“It seems a bit strange that, but let’s get on with it shall we?”

The Prime Minister replied: “Strange way to start the interview, but I’m just heading on my way up to Scotland, that’s why.”

Mr Geissler replied: “I want to explain to listeners why they perhaps think that we’ve cut it short when we haven’t.”

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The pair clashed again later in the interview when the host asked how Mr Sunak would be getting to St Fergus, the village just north of Peterhead where the Acorn project is based.

He replied: "I'll be flying as I normally would and that is the most efficient use of my time."

"But again I think actually that question brings to life a great debate here," the Prime Minister added.

"If you or others think the answer to climate change is getting people to ban everything that they are doing, to stop people from flying, to stop people going on holiday, I think that is absolutely the wrong approach."

Mr Sunak added: "Every prime minister before me has also used planes to travel around the United Kingdom because it is an efficient use of time for the person running the country so I can keep focusing on delivering for people.

"But if your approach to climate change is to say no one should go on a holiday, no one should [go on] a plane, I think you are completely and utterly wrong - that is absolutely not the approach to tackling climate change."

Mr Geissler said there was "a difference between using a private jet and taking a [commercial] flight".

But the Prime Minister continued: "What we are doing is investing in sustainable aviation fuel as one of the new technologies like carbon capture and storage which will help us make the transition.

"It is not about banning flying, it is about investing in new technologies like sustainable aviation fuel that will make flying more sustainable, that's the right approach to this.

“But I look forward to have that conversation with you again. Thanks very much for having me. Bye bye.”

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Mr Geissler then asked Mr Sunak: “We have to let you go. Will you commit to coming back on and speaking to us longer in the future?”

The Prime Minister replied: “I think this is the second time I’ve been on your show in the short space of time I’ve been Prime Minister, but I’m sure I’ll be there again in the future. Thanks very much.”