Sadiq Khan’s environmental concerns mean rightly opposing Heathrow runway – but vanish in relation to Gatwick

Labour Mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, backed a runway at Heathrow until June 2015, when he came out against it, partly realising the air quality problems had an unacceptably bad impact on Londoners. Due to the extent of Heathrow opposition, he realised he would not be elected if he backed a Heathrow runway.  Sadiq has made various statements about how he is concerned the environment and wants to be” the greenest mayor London’s ever had.”  He also has plans to “put radical environment improvements ‘front and centre’” in his campaign, plant 2 million tree, and implement a major extension of the “ultra-low emissions zone” – which bans the most polluting vehicles.  All that is great.  But his care for the environment runs out when it comes to Gatwick.  He backs a 2nd runway there, and is trying to persuade the Labour party to do so too.  Appreciating just how unpopular airport expansion is at Heathrow, largely due to the extensive negative impacts over a wide area, Sadiq appears keen to dump that sort of misery on those who are not able to vote against him – living outside London. He appears to have been taken in by Gatwick’s PR and charm offensive, believing there would be thousands of jobs for people in Croydon and his constituency, Tooting.  A combination of nimbyism and self-interest. He also backs expansion of London City Airport.

London airport expansion: Sadiq Khan ramps up support for second Gatwick runway over Heathrow

by Lauren Fedor  (City AM)

Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan will today up the ante in the London airports row by coming out stronger than ever in making the case for a second runway at Gatwick.

The Tooting MP will meet with senior executives at the Sussex airport to conduct a charm offensive aimed at laying out his pro-Gatwick position.

Khan is expected to reiterate views made in City A.M. in June, when he said that the answer to the capital’s airport capacity conundrum lies in “expanding Gatwick and making Heathrow better, not bigger”.

Critics accused Khan of a U-turn as he had previously backed a third runway at Heathrow. However, Khan is expected to say that competition between the two airports will benefit businesses and outline his vision for a rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick.

Zac Goldsmith, his Tory mayoral rival, is also a staunch opponent of Heathrow expansion.


The gloves are off: Sadiq Khan launches latest attack on London mayoral election rival Zac Goldsmith

7 January 2016
by Lauren Fedor (City AM)

…. extracts …..
The race to replace Boris Johnson as mayor of London is descending into a war of words, as Labour candidate Sadiq Khan launches his sharpest attack yet against Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith.

Khan will slam Goldsmith in a speech today at the Resolution Foundation think tank, saying that the Richmond Park MP “doesn’t get how to work with business.”

“You can’t take on the challenge of productivity if you don’t meet with business, if you don’t understand business and if you don’t take jobs and business seriously,” Khan said ahead of today’s speech. “And London’s business community faces a real choice.

“The Tory candidate, Zac Goldsmith, does not support London’s business community. He’s refusing to meet business leaders, he’s made anti-business statements through his career, and he’s opposed to airport expansion and Britain’s membership of the European Union, which is vital for London’s economy. He doesn’t have the experience, the values or the vision to deliver higher productivity for London.”


Former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said in October that Goldsmith was a “threat to London jobs and businesses”.

“London’s business community says that staying in Europe is vital to their prosperity – but Goldsmith wants to take us out of the world’s largest market,” Umunna said. “He says he doesn’t trust big business.”

“And he’s opposed to any expansion in airport capacity, which London’s business community needs to keep up with our competitors.”


Khan initially backed Heathrow expansion, but switched his allegiances to Gatwick earlier this year. Goldsmith, meanwhile, has consistently opposed expanding the west London airport, vowing to step down as a local MP and trigger a by-election if the government backs a third runway

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Sadiq Khan: Second Gatwick runway could create 20,000 extra jobs in Croydon


(Croydon Guardian)

article croydon guardian

Tooting Labour MP and London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, right, with Gatwick chairman Stewart Wingate

A second runway at Gatwick would create 20,000 extra jobs in Croydon and the surrounding area, Sadiq Khan has claimed.

Labour’s London mayoral candidate used a visit to the airport on Friday to reaffirm his support for expanding Gatwick, rather than building a third runway at Heathrow.

Mr Khan said: “Not only is expansion at Gatwick crucial for our future prosperity as a global city, it will be a major catalyst for job and growth in Croydon and south London. 20,000 jobs would be created in Croydon and the surrounding area – there’s no excuse for not getting on with expansion as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Croydon Council leader Tony Newman has praised a recent decision to extend the Oyster card network to Gatwick.

He said: “This will strengthen our already excellent transport links – just 15 minutes by train – to Gatwick and really enhance Croydon’s connectivity.

“We believe extending the Oyster card to Gatwick is another step towards expanding Gatwick. We are passionate supporters of a second runway at Gatwick, as it would bring significant economic benefits to Croydon and create more than 30,000 jobs, many of which could go to residents in our borough.”


Sadiq Khan would reconsider block on London City Airport expansion

5 NOV 2015

Labour’s mayoral candidate is against expansion at Heathrow but says the Docklands hub is an exception because of its size and economic impact

London mayoral candidates Zac Goldsmith, left, and Labour MP Sadiq Khan at an anti-Heathrow expansion rally in October

Labour mayoral candidate – and former transport minister – Sadiq Khan has said that he would consider allowing the expansion of London City Airport if he took over at City Hall.


The City Airport Development Programme would lift the ceiling on the number of flights from 70,000 to 111,000 a year, doubling the number of passengers by 2023 a year, as well as make major adaptations to the airport to extend the terminal and build a parallel taxi lane.

The changes, the airport says, are necessary to accommodate a new generation of aircraft which is more fuel efficient and will add £750million a year to the economy. The airport, which predominantly serves Canary Wharf and the City, is currently accepting bids to buy the business from its US owners which could generate £2billion.

Mr Khan, who has previously come out against Heathrow expansion, worried about air quality, said that the Docklands hub was a special case because of its size and economic impact.

London City Airport has seen a rise in laser pointer attacks.

He said: “When you look at what London City Airport is doing for the local community, the jobs they’re creating, but also the jobs they’re creating around London I think what you can’t do is play politics with decisions about people’s jobs and business.

“What I would do if I was mayor of London is reconsider the decision by the mayor of London to oppose the plans.”

“City Airport is very small in comparison to major airports like Heathrow and Gatwick and would remain so even after this expansion.

“We need to make sure that key environmental and noise tests are met, but the proposals would provide the City with a capacity boost and I’m willing to look again at this.”

His view is in contrast to that of his main rival for City Hall. Conservative candidate and environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith said he was “very strongly inclined” to follow the Johnson line.

London City Airport is appealing against the overrule and Mayor Boris Johnson has set aside £525,000 to defend his decision. The appeal will be heard in March.

Comment from Twitter:

Sadiq will protect rich West London but damn poor East London to a noise ghetto hell.

Sadiq Khan promises London will be run on clean energy by 2050

Labour mayoral candidate says if elected he will cut the capital’s carbon emissions, after similar green pledges are made by other major cities

By Emma Howard (Guardian)
Monday 23 November 2015

The Labour mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to put London on course to be run entirely on clean energy by 2050 if he is elected next May, amid criticism that the capital is falling behind its emissions targets.

The promise puts the capital on an equal footing with promises made in Britain’s other major cities, after the leaders of 50 Labour-run councils – including those in Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Nottingham and Glasgow – also made a 100% clean energy pledge on Monday.

Khan was speaking at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on Monday at the launch of the 100% London campaign, based on a report by the thinktank IPPR, which shows that the capital is behind schedule to meet its carbon reduction targets while other cities around the world are “racing ahead”.

The Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, who has become known for taking a stand on green issues, did not attend the event or publicly make the pledge but said he “welcomed” the campaign.

Khan said: “Yes to 100% London. If it’s good enough for Sydney and Copenhagen and New York, why not London? We’ve fallen behind in our 2025 target … I want to be the greenest mayor London’s ever had.”

The Green party candidate, Sian Berry, committed to the 100% target while Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon said she welcomed the campaign.

Goldsmith said: “100% London is 100% necessary. I welcome the 100% London campaign and will look closely at IPPR’s zero carbon plan to see what we need to do to make sure that we in London take on the challenge of climate change.”

The report by IPPR argues that City Hall is not on course to meet its target to reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2025 from 1990 levels. In order to do so, it says, the mayor must put London on course to produce a quarter of its own energy within 10 years, create 1.4m extra jobs in public transport and retrofit 1m homes per term in office with energy efficiency measures such as insulation. Even more ambitious action is needed if the capital is to reach a 100% renewable energy target by 2050, said Jimmy Aldridge, senior research fellow at IPPR.

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Sadiq Khan promises to plant 2m trees in London if elected mayor

Labour candidate promises to put radical environment improvements ‘front and centre’ in campaign to replace Boris Johnson as London mayor

By Matthew Taylor (Guardian)

Thursday 24 September 2015

The pedestrianisation of the UK’s busiest shopping street and the planting of m trees across London are among the promises made by Labour’s newly chosen candidate to become the capital’s mayor.

Sadiq Khan, in a Guardian interview, has outlined a raft of green initiatives that he said would put radical environment improvements “front and centre” of his campaign to replace Boris Johnson. Ten thousand people died in London last year as a result of air pollution.

“We can’t afford this issue being on the back burner any longer,” said Khan. “Nearly 10,000 Londoners died as a direct result of air pollution last year and it is now the most polluted city in Europe. There is a growing crisis and we need radical action to tackle it now.”

As well as pedestrianising Oxford Street and planting the trees in his first term, Khan said he would:

– implement a major extension of the “ultra-low emissions zone” – which bans the most polluting vehicles – so that it covers most of the central zones one and two, as well as key arterial routes into the capital;
– introduce a comprehensive network of cycle-only lanes across London and new cycling proficiency lessons in schools;
– phase out hybrid buses and replace them with electric vehicles;
– ban heavy lorries from central London during the rush hour;
– oppose the third runway at Heathrow;
– divest London’s pension fund from fossil fuel investments.

“We have got to change the way London works, and the key thing is to plan properly. Think about where people live, where people play and where people work,” he said.

Khan came from behind in the race to be Labour’s mayoral candidate earlier this month, ending the five-month campaign with a decisive win over the early favourite, Tessa Jowell. He was helped by the surge in Labour support sparked by Jeremy Corbyn’s successful run for party leader. In London, that saw the number of those eligible to vote in the mayoral race almost triple from around 40,000 in May to 114,000 in September. Most of those new members and supporters are thought to have voted for Khan rather than Jowell, a Blairite.


Khan’s backstory is well known. He grew up on a south London council estate, his father was a bus driver, his mother a housewife seamstress. He was one of eight siblings and slept in a bunk bed at his parents’ house while he trained to be a lawyer, going on to defend victims of police abuse. But he turned his back on the legal profession and in 2005 became an MP and close ally of the previous Labour leader, Ed Miliband.


A key focus of Khan’s campaign will be housing and the “social cleansing” of tens of thousands of poorer families, forced out of central London by high rents and the government’s benefits cap. “Social cleansing will only accelerate across London if the wrong guy wins this election,” he said. “This is high stakes, this change would be irreversible.”.

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Labour mayor contender Sadiq Khan rejects building third runway at Heathrow


6 June 2015

Labour mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan today came out against a third runway at Heathrow, saying that London’s premier airport should be made “better but not bigger”.

His move opened clear air between him and Labour rivals Dame Tessa Jowell and David Lammy. He branded the pair “ultra-Blairites” for backing the extra runway pushed a decade ago by former Labour premier Tony Blair.

“Tessa and David will argue Heathrow’s case, but I am arguing London’s case against its expansion,” he said. “People must ask themselves who best represents London’s interests.”

Announcing his stance in an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Khan said he believed a bigger Heathrow should be ruled out on the grounds of “awful air quality”, noise and inadequate infrastructure.

His move comes a week after Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith entered the mayoral race with a vow to halt the third runway.

Mr Khan suggested that voters would focus more on Mr Goldsmith’s other policies and wealthy background if they were opponents, because they agreed over Heathrow.

“I like Zac,” said Mr Khan. “But Londoners will have to ask who is best to understand their aspirations. Who best understands the housing crisis, or the need for affordable transport? I cannot wait for battle to commence.”

Mr Khan’s interview also pre-empted the looming report by Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission. Mr Khan said he could think of nothing the commission might say to change his mind.

“I’ve seen independent evidence that up to 4,300 people are dying prematurely because of air quality,” he said. “I’ve spoken to experts who have told me that children’s lungs are under developed because of air quality. I’ve spoken to residents in the parts of London affected who have told me about the consequences of noise pollution.

“I cannot agree with Tessa and David that the benefits of expanding Heathrow exceed the costs to Londoners.” Of the other Labour would-be mayors, both Diane Abbott and Christian Wolmar are against a third runway at Heathrow.

Mr Khan’s said he had “thought long and hard” about the aviation capacity crisis. He stressed he was “not anti-aviation”, but thought jobs and an economic boost could be achieved best through a second runway at Gatwick and a high-speed rail link between the two airports. It would allow more flights and passengers could check in at either airport and transfer between them quickly.

“I’m not saying we should expand Gatwick at the expense of Heathrow – it’s really important to make Heathrow better,” he said.

Asked how he would respond if Davies recommended Heathrow expansion, he declared: “I’m a fighter. I would fight to make the government rejects it.”

Asked about the rumoured proposal for an independent noise monitor, he said: “I’m not sure how that can address the issue of teachers in West London having to stop teaching when an aircraft takes off.”

Mr Khan was a Transport Minister under Gordon Brown when the third runway was Labour policy but he said things had moved on with the recent Supreme Court ruling that the UK was breaching air quality limits.

He agreed that Heathrow expansion was a “Blairite policy”, saying: “I suspect that’s why Tessa and David are in favour of it. As ultra-Blairites they will have to argue why they think Runway Three should go forward.”