Hoon held Madrid talks to ‘build bridges’ over BAA row

9.4.2009   (Evening Standard)

by Nicholas Cecil, Chief Political Correspondent

GEOFF HOON flew to Madrid for talks with the owners of Heathrow and Gatwick after they complained about Britain’s competition watchdog, it was
revealed today.

Ferrovial, the parent company of BAA, was so angry at the actions of the Competition Commission,
which is forcing it to sell off several UK airports, that talks were held with
Britain’s ambassador in
Spain, Denise Holt.

Shortly afterwards the Transport Secretary agreed to travel to Madrid on a mission
to “build bridges” with Spanish firm Ferrovial, which bought BAA three years ago.

Details of the trip, which took place last month, will sparkconcerns over the
links between the Government and BAA following allegations of collusion between
the two over the plans for a third runway at Heathrow.

Shadow London minister Justine Greening said: “BAA and Ferrovial just need to click their fingers and the Secretary
of State comes running, while local residents feel they were not giving a fair
hearing [over Heathrow expansion].”

The background to Mr Hoon’s trip emerged in minutes of a meeting between DfT
officials held on 17 December last year that were released under freedom of information


link to article


and some of the comments:

You buy a British company you play by British rules.

– Frank, Home Counties, England.


And yet Hoon would not meet campaigners as it would prejudice the consultation
– now do we see this governments contempt for its own people, their health and
well being – Hoon should go and go quickly………

– Christian Ball, London, UK


Great! Just the kind of dynamic maker and shaker we need to get this thing sorted

– Robert, London UK


Holiday Hoon up to his old tricks again?

– Marianne, British National In Despari, SW France


The purcahse of BAA by Ferrovial was a simple example of governmant aided and
abbetted assett stripping. Ferrovial was given tax perks that the EU forced the
Spanish government to stop however Ferrovial did not have to repay anything. What
comes around goes around and the predator got caught. The ‘Spanish practices’
that empowed Ferrovial have left them exposed in a downturn. The multiple ownership
of London’s airports was illogical and monopolistic and for Hoon to go grovelling
is typical of this administration.

– Antoine Desmoines, London, UK


Now children, who do you think might offer nice Mr Hoon a job after the election?

–    Mdj E10, london uk