FoI documents now prove Whitehall hid evidence on Heathrow expansion
of expanding Heathrow and play down facts that could help opponents, secret documents
about Heathrow expansion that it spent 18 months trying to prevent them being
revealed. They were obtained only after Justine Greening, Tory MP for Putney,
complained to the freedom of information watchdog.
Sunday Times â€” show how they relied on research that they knew would not stand
up to scrutiny.
containing crucial evidence, so that opponents of expansion would not know they
a reference to BAA technical notes to be removed. It then adds: "He has avoided
all references to the TNs [technical notes] in the surface access report and suggests,
which I would agree with, that if [name redacted] can change his reference it
could minimise the opportunity for a request for access to any or all of the TNs."
(DfT) published material that combined its data on air quality with data supplied
the Department for Transport and BAA, the airports operator.
of the public consultation. Some of the internal emails show officials at the
DfT asking BAA to include "drafting points" in documents prepared for the public
changes. "How critical are they, as there seem to be a lot at this late stage?"
its case for expanding Heathrow.
rated it as either "vital" or "very important" to their business. Yet officials
also noted that the "conclusion [is] based on a very low sample size" and that
it should be "used with caution".
failure to expand Heathrow could badly damage the economy. No mention was made
of the fact that only 2.6% of the 6,000 businesses to which questionnaires had
been sent had responded.
of evidence that could have helped objectors argue against expansion. It says:
"Final sentence â€” true, but a strong statement for objectors to use … Can we
was flawed, one internal memo said: "Model underestimates short-distance car journeys
the government of a cover-up.
of the Information Commissioner’s enforcement team they would still be hidden
away," she said.
thought their relationship could be seen as collusion.
that the public would not have any more information than was absolutely necessary.
This was more skewed than the public could ever have realised."
of the Heathrow consultation. In compiling documents for publication, there will
always be discussions. These help ensure the final product is both accurate and
Tories have said they will shelve the proposals if they win the next election.