A Romford man is calling on the government to scrap plans to build a new £200 million yacht and instead spend the money on a “more deserving cause”.

Philip Goodfellow launched the petition on Change.org two weeks ago and has already gained over 100,000 signatures, demanding proposals for the new royal yacht are scrapped.

On May 1, The Telegraph revealed the government is planning to build the yacht as a tribute to the late Prince Philip, who died last month, which would be the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Upminster-born Philip, who now lives in Romford with his wife and daughter, said building the ship to provide jobs was “robbing Peter to feed Paul, at a time when Peter could really do with the money".

He told this paper: “It’s brilliant the petition has got so much support but I’m not surprised lots of people feel the same - it's distasteful, timing-wise, when so many people across the country are struggling at the moment.

“To plonk this in the middle of a time when people will have to tighten their belts because of Covid seems slightly bizarre.

“It seems poorly timed, and appears to be politically motivated and used to harness recent pro-Brexit nationalistic sentiment.

“It seems neither necessary nor financially justified."

Romford Recorder: Philip Goodfellow has lived in Havering for over 40 yearsPhilip Goodfellow has lived in Havering for over 40 years (Image: Philip Goodfellow)

“Any criticism of it is likely to be framed as being anti-monarchy or anti-British, but an awful lot of people across the political spectrum think this is an inappropriate idea when people across the country are suffering because of lockdown.

“More and more people are having to rely on food banks, women are suffering from period poverty and domestic violence, there’s a mental health crisis - there's an endless number of far more important and worthier things the money could be spent on.”

However, Queen Mary University worker Philip warned the government could still go ahead with plans despite public backlash.

“Petitions aren’t as helpful as people think they are, but I still think there’s a value in people having a platform to voice their opposition,” he explained.

“Even if the project does go ahead, people can say it’s not being done in their name.”

The prime minister’s spokesperson said recently: “The prime minister has an exciting vision for ship-building in this country and we are looking at ways to promote global Britain around the world and delivering value for money for the British people.”

View the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/uk-government-stop-the-building-of-a-new-200m-royal-yacht?source_location=topic_page