Boris Johnson says he disagrees with Tory plan to build Heathrow runway – as “very difficult to deliver”
Boris Johnson, who once pledged to lie down in front of the Heathrow bulldozers to block the 3rd runway, has been completely silent on the matter, since being made Foreign Secretary. But he has now made a short comment expressing his opposition to it – the constituency he wants to win back, Uxbridge & South Ruislip, is badly affected by Heathrow flights. He said that the runway would be ‘very difficult to deliver’ because of noise and pollution concerns. “I don’t think it’s the right solution. I’ll be honest with I think it’s very difficult to deliver. I just think noise pollution, the vehicular pollution, the air pollution, these are things that really have to be addressed.” The Tory manifesto says they “… will continue with the expansion of Heathrow Airport.” He told LBC that “The position is the one I was arguing as Mayor and as Foreign Secretary. That remains unchanged.” LBC’s Political Editor then asked him: “Has Theresa May got it wrong?” But Mr Johnson was whisked away before he could answer. In October 2016 Theresa May told all Cabinet Ministers “…. no Minister will be permitted to campaign actively against the Government’s position, nor publicly criticise, or call into question the decision-making process itself. Ministers will not be permitted to speak against the Government in the House.”
Senior Tory Boris Johnson (Foreign Secretary) today challenged his party’s manifesto pledge to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Mr Johnson, who hopes to be re-elected as Conservative MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip was meeting voters in the Labour-held marginal of Brentford & Isleworth. [Seat was held since 2015 by Ruth Cadbury. Mary McLeod held the seat before and is standing again in this election. Details ]
The former London mayor told ITV News the runway would be ‘very difficult to deliver’ because of noise and pollution concerns.
He said: “I don’t think it’s the right solution. I’ll be honest with I think it’s very difficult to deliver. I just think noise pollution, the vehicular pollution, the air pollution, these are things that really have to be addressed.”
His comments were echoed by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Both men represented constituencies affected by aircraft noise.
Boris Johnson Admits He Disagrees With Tory Policy On Heathrow
Boris Johnson has told LBC he is against the Conservative policy on Heathrow.
The Tory manifesto says: “We will continue with the expansion of Heathrow Airport.”
But the Foreign Secretary, who was solidly anti-Heathrow expansion during his time as Mayor of London, insists that his position hasn’t changed.
He told LBC: “The position is the one I was arguing as Mayor and as Foreign Secretary. That remains unchanged.
“I think it is the wrong solution and I think particularly the noise and the vehicular and air pollution difficulties will be very difficult indeed.”
LBC’s Political Editor Theo Usherwood then asked him: “Has Theresa May got it wrong?”
But Mr Johnson was whisked away before he could answer.
Theresa May has said:
“Obviously, becoming Prime Minister meant I had to look at the national interest in terms of the airport expansion.
“We’d already accepted as a government that South-east airport capacity needed to expand and looking at all the studies and reviews, it was clear that the preference was for Heathrow.
“We are looking to bringing even greater curbs in relation to night flights for the expanded Heathrow.”
Boris Johnson says Heathrow third runway ‘undeliverable’
25 October 2016
….extracts below ….
The Foreign Secretary has accused Theresa May of promising the “undeliverable” as the political fallout begins from the decision to give Heathrow a third runway.
Boris Johnson said expansion at the West London airport would “very likely” be stopped and “the day when the bulldozers appear is a long way off, if indeed they ever materialise”.
Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith, who was also against a third runway, has resigned as an MP after what he described as a “catastrophic” decision.
Campaigners, including Mr Johnson and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, also warned the legal obstacles to getting the scheme off the ground would stop it going ahead by 2025 – if it ever did.
The Prime Minister was facing a backlash from within her own party including Mr Johnson and Education Secretary Justine Greening, who said it was “disappointing”.
The Government attempted to dampen the blow of it approving the £17.6bn project by attaching conditions including a six and a half hour night-flight ban, more stringent noise conditions and a £2.6bn compensation fund for residents.
Speaking to the Evening Standard after the decision, Mrs May said she wanted the runway delivered “as quickly as possible”.
She said: “After decades of delay we are showing that we will take the big decisions when they’re the right decisions for Britain, and we will ensure they’re right for ordinary working people too.
“Airport expansion is vital for the economic future of the whole of the UK and today also provides certainty to Londoners.
“Businesses will know that we are building the infrastructure they need to access global markets. Ordinary working people will know that my Government backs jobs and growth.”
However, Boris Johnson, who along with other members of the Cabinet has been given permission by the PM to speak out against the decision for a limited time, said: “No other great city would do this to its inhabitants.
“New York is going to be the city of beautiful skyscrapers, Paris the city of lights and London in the future, if we go ahead with this project, will be known as the city of planes.”
Mr Johnson, who has previously threatened to lie in front of bulldozers rather than let the scheme go ahead, added: “A third runway is undeliverable.
“The day when the bulldozers appear is a long way off, if indeed they ever materialise.”
Councils in the areas affected by the expansion have joined forces and announced their intention to launch a judicial review of the decision.
London’s mayor has said he will look at the best way to help the legal fight.
Mr Khan said the Government was wrong to choose Heathrow over Gatwick – which he said would have provided extra air capacity for the UK faster, without affecting so many people and provided healthy competition for Heathrow.
He said: “An expanded Gatwick would have boosted our economy without causing these huge air and noise pollution problems and it could be built quicker and cheaper.
“I will continue to challenge this decision and I am exploring how I can best be involved in any legal process over the coming months.”
In October 2016 Theresa May set out how members of Cabinet may not oppose the Heathrow runway plans, except in minimal ways:
She has written to all Cabinet Ministers laying out what they can, and cannot do, in terms of opposing the Cabinet runway decision. Ministers opposed to her decision have to ask her approval first to be permitted not to toe the line …. This is aimed especially at Boris Johnson and Justine Greening. Mrs May says: “…. no Minister will be permitted to campaign actively against the Government’s position, nor publicly criticise, or call into question the decision-making process itself. Ministers will not be permitted to speak against the Government in the House.”