Israeli PM criticised for buying £82,000 bed for plane

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pictured at the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher in St Paul's Cathedral, London. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will use alternative sleeping arrangements during future flights, after spending tens of thousands of pounds of public funds on installing a customised bed for his recent trip to London.

Mr Netanyahu splashed out £82,000 on a customised sleeping cabin for a five-hour flight to attend the funeral of Margaret Thatcher last month, according to the Israeli TV's Channel 10.

The prime minister's office initially defended the decision, citing his busy schedule and his need to be fresh and alert for important meetings.

Officials said he had been unaware of the cost and has since ordered the bed to be cancelled on all future flights.

The controversy comes as the Israeli government seeks to implement austerity measures and tax increases.

Earlier in the year, Mr Netanyahu stopped buying ice cream from a Jerusalem parlour which was costing his office £1,760 a year, following revelations by an Israeli newspaper.