Heathrow expansion ‘not likely’

Heathrow airport
Heathrow airport

Boris Johnson has said he believes the chances of the new Conservative government backing the expansion of Heathrow to be “virtually nil” as he vowed to continue his fight against a new runway in Parliament.

The appointment of the newly-elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip - who also remains London mayor for the next year - to David Cameron’s political cabinet was seen by some campaigners as an indication the new administration was leaning towards rival Gatwick for much-needed expansion.

A recommendation as to whether a new runway is built at Gatwick or one of two short-listed runway-expansion plans at Heathrow should go ahead is due in a few weeks’ time in a report by the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies.

The Conservative election manifesto committed only to “respond to” its recommendations and Mr Johnson suggested that if it came out in favour of Heathrow it should be “filed vertically” like other reports that have come to similar conclusions over recent decades.

When asked what had been the point of having the commission at all, Mr Johnson told LBC radio: “You may well ask.”