Heathrow airport expansion cover-up
a complaint that it deleted sensitive internal emails about the expansion of Heathrow
between September and November 2007 as the government prepared to push through
its controversial plans for a third runway.
police officers, has asked to interview civil servants at the DfT about the apparent
destruction of evidence.
a Tory frontbencher, who has led the campaign against the £9 billion expansion.
She asked for an investigation after spotting gaps in email conversations between
transport officials and BAA.
damaging information and asked: "Can we play down?" The reply is among those emails
that have apparently gone missing.
the Heathrow consultation for nearly two years. When they were released it was
clear that some of the material was missing. The deletion of these emails could
be a criminal offence and I am very pleased that the information commissioner
the evidence in collusion with BAA in favour of expansion.
2009 and indicated he would rush the project through to make it difficult for
the Tories, who are against expansion, to overturn the decision.
for their judicial challenge to the way the government pressed ahead. The case
will be heard in the High Court this month.
those bringing the legal challenge, said: "We are looking to show that the government
hasn’t played fair all along. Our case will show a government determined to force
through the runway at any cost."
destruction of internal communications about Heathrow demonstrates "bad faith"
and could strengthen their case that the consultation was flawed.
where 700 families will lose their homes if a third runway is built.
(ICO) that it is planning "quite an intensive investigation in a short timescale
with the limited resources available to our office". The ICO, which is also conducting
an inquiry into the "climategate" emails scandal at the University of East Anglia,
said such investigations were rare. The deletion or concealment of records to
prevent disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act is a criminal offence.
material. However, they are to be interviewed about the missing emails.
"We are aware of a possible investigation by the ICO but have not received any
formal notice," it said.
requests for information to the Department for Transport. We have contacted BAA
and the DfT to help us establish the full facts."