‘Boris Is­land’ air­port is for­mally re­jected

London Mayor at­tacks com­mis­sion’s cred­i­bil­ity

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alan Hayes alan.hayes@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

IN A ham­mer blow at the end of a busy week for Boris John­son, the Air­ports Com­mis­sion has scup­pered his dream of an es­tu­ary air­port to re­place Heathrow.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing (Tues­day) the com­mis­sion, look­ing into run­way ca­pac­ity in the south of Eng­land, for­mally re­jected the Mayor of London’s scheme for a Thames Es­tu­ary air­port, dubbed ‘Boris Is­land’, prin­ci­pally on grounds of cost and lo­ca­tion.

Mr John­son im­me­di­ately hit back, telling The Tele­graph that the com­mis­sion, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, had un­der­mined its own cred­i­bil­ity with this and fu­ture gov­ern­ments by putting the ‘po­lit­i­cally un­ac­cept­able’ op­tion of Heathrow ex­pan­sion back in play.

Now only the two forms of Heathrow ex­pan­sion – a third run­way or ex­ten­sion of the ex­ist­ing two – or another run­way at Gatwick Air­port re­main up for con­sid­er­a­tion.

Just eight days ago, after re­turn­ing from a fam­ily hol­i­day in Croa­tia, the mayor had made the long-ex­pected move and sub­mit­ted his ap­pli­ca­tion to be the Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip Con­ser­va­tive As­so­ci­a­tion can­di­date in next year’s gen­eral elec­tion.

Book­mak­ers Lad­brokes has an­nounced it had al­ready paid out on bets that the for­mer MP for Hen­ley would rep­re­sent the To­ries in the con­stituency next May.

But within 48 hours, ru­mours were cir­cu­lat­ing that Mr John­son might be di­verted to a some­what tougher-seem­ing bat­tle.

Tory de­fec­tor Dou­glas Car­swell quit his seat in Clac­ton in a bomb­shell an­nounce­ment that he was de­fect­ing to UKIP be­cause he wanted to see ‘fun­da­men­tal change in Bri­tish pol­i­tics’, forc­ing a by­elec­tion.

Mr Car­swell is popular in Clac­ton and has said many of the lo­cal mem­bers will de­fect with him and eas­ily win him the seat for UKIP.

It seemed for a time that ‘only Boris’ could stop him.

How­ever, Con­ser­va­tive Party sources were soon play­ing those ru­mours down, mainly on the grounds of tim­ing.

Uxbridge de­cides on Fri­day, Septem­ber 12 – and Mr John­son was said not to be keen on the Clac­ton seat any­way.

For more on this story and the lat­est on the Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip se­lec­tion process, please go to www.getwest­lon­don.co.uk.

■ HAM­MER BLOW: Boris John­son

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