Teddington Action Group prepares for “first of many” judicial reviews of Government decision on Heathrow runway

Teddington Action Group (TAG) has re-stated its commitment to launch Judicial Review (JR) proceedings of a Government decision on airport expansion – should one of the two Heathrow options be chosen. TAG issued a pre-action letter of claim (the first step in the JR process) back in June 2015, on the eve of the Airports Commission’s recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow.  Proceedings were then put on hold pending a Government decision on the 3 runway options. TAG has now re-confirmed its commitment to continue proceedings, with a key ground for its JR being the “apparent bias” of the Chair of the Airports Commission itself, Sir Howard Davies, due to his roles at GIC Private Ltd, owner of a 11.9% share in Heathrow Airport Holdings. In 2009, Sir Howard was appointed as an adviser to the Investment Strategy Committee of GIC Private Limited (formerly known as the Singapore Government Investment Co), advising them on “new growth opportunities”. In 2011 he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of GIC Private Ltd, a board on which he was still sitting on the day of his appointment as “independent” Chair of the Airports Commission. He never disclosed these roles in the Airports Commission’s Register of Interests. He then accepted the Chairmanship of RBS, Heathrow’s main banker, while still steering the Commission to its conclusion. This puts the  Commission’s “independence” into question. 

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Community Group prepares for “first of many” judicial reviews of Government decision on Airport Expansion

11.10.2016
Teddington Action Group (TAG)

 

Teddington Action Group (TAG) has today re-stated its commitment to launch judicial review proceedings of a Government decision on airport expansion – should one of the two Heathrow options be chosen.

TAG issued a pre-action letter of claim (the first step in the Judicial Review process) back in June 2015, on the eve of the Airport’s Commission’s recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

Proceedings were then put on hold pending a Government decision on one of the three shortlisted options. However, today TAG re-confirmed its commitment to continue proceedings should Heathrow be chosen. One of the key grounds for its judicial review is the “apparent bias” of the Chair of the Airports Commission itself, Sir Howard Davies, flowing from his roles at GIC Private Ltd, owner of a 11.9% share in Heathrow Airport Holdings.

In 2009, Sir Howard was appointed as an adviser to the Investment Strategy Committee of GIC Private Limited (formerly known as the Singapore Government Investment Co), advising them on “new growth opportunities”.
And in 2011, he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of GIC Private Ltd, a board on which he was still sitting on the day of his appointment as “independent” Chair of the Airports Commission.
In response to questions from TAG, in July 2015, Government solicitors conceded his links to GIC Private Ltd – claiming that he resigned these remunerated roles with GIC Private Ltd, on accepting the appointment as unremunerated Chair of the Airports Commission in 2012.
Yet, Sir Howard Davies never disclosed these roles in the Airports Commission’s Register of Interests.
TAG spokesman, Paul McGuinness said:
“The Government says its decision on airport expansion will largely be based on the “independent” Airports Commission’s work. Yet, the Commission was chaired by a man who, on the day of his appointment, was a remunerated member of the International Investment Advisory Board of one of Heathrow Airport’s principal owners. To add insult to injury, he then accepted the Chairmanship of RBS, Heathrow Airport’s main banker, while still steering the Commission to its conclusion. Clearly the new Prime Minister and Secretary of State cannot be held responsible for Sir Howard Davies’s involvement in the Airports Commission. But it stinks, and we have been advised that Sir Howard’s links to Heathrow provide as clear a case of apparent bias in a decision-making process as one is likely to encounter.”

 

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For further information, contact Paul McGuinness on 07958 589894.

Background:

1. GIC Private Limited, on whose International Advisory Board Sir Howard was serving when appointed to chair the Airports Commission) is such a significant, long term shareholder in Heathrow that it is represented on the Board of Heathrow (Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd), by Stuart Baldwin, Senior Vice President of GIC.

http://www.heathrow.com/company/company-news-and-information/company-information/the-board

2. Heathrow Board Member, Stuart Baldwin (Senior Vice President, GIC Private Limited)

http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=33171473&privcapId=32489485&previousCapId=410812&previousTitle=LHR%20Airports%20Limited

https://www.infrastructureinvestor.com/speakersprofile/?speaker=7130

3. Wikipedia Page on Sir Howard Davies, which now contains and confirms details of his roles with GIC Private Ltd

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Davies_(economist)

“In 2009 Davies was appointed as advisor to the Investment Strategy Committee of the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore. Two years later he joined its International Advisory Board. Davies resigned from both positions in September 2012, on appointment to the chair of the Airports Commission”.

Teddington Action Group Pre-Action Letter of Claim is to be sent after the Government’s decision, should it select one of the two Heathrow shortlisted options.

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See earlier:

 

Independence of Airports Commission questioned over Howard Davies’ role in Prudential, which recently bought more Heathrow property

Campaigners against a 3rd Heathrow runway have questioned the independence of the Airports Commission and its chairman, Howard Davies. It has been revealed that he is a board member of Prudential, an insurance group which invested in property near Heathrow, just months before the Commission recommended a 3rd runway. He chairs its risk committee, which reviews and approves group investment policies as well as advising the board on risks in the company’s “strategic transactions and business plans”. The Guardian reports that Prudential embarked on a £300m spending spree on properties around Heathrow, just as the commission prepared to deliver its final report, on 1st July. Prudential has an asset management business, M&G. In 2013 it bought the Hilton hotel at Terminal 5 for £21m and an earlier investment with planning permission for a large hotel close to where the proposed 3rd runway would be built. In May and June 2015 M&G bought more property including cargo depots and a business park a short distance from Terminal 4. Howard Davies also, till September 2012, advised the GIC (Singapore), which owns 11.2% of Heathrow. The Teddington Action Group say Davies’ links with Prudential undermines the impartiality and credibility of the Commission’s recommendations.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/independence-of-airports-commission-questioned-over-howard-davies-role-in-prudential-which-recently-bought-more-heathrow-property/