September 4th, 2012

Flashback: McLouglin Refuses to Rule Out Heathrow Expansion

In July 1990 the then Aviation Minister under Thatcher, Patrick McLoughlin, told the House:

“I am afraid that I cannot say to my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne, who so ably introduced the debate, that I can wholly rule out Heathrow. If I did that, my hon. Friends who have spoken on behalf of other areas would ask me wholly to rule out their airports as well. That is not the way forward. The way forward is to do as the Government have done—to set up a working group. [Laughter.] It is easy for Opposition Members to mock—we are used to that, but they never come forward with any constructive suggestions.”

The new Transport Secretary’s Derbyshire seat is a long way from Heathrow, though the Tories would be fools to reverse on their Heathrow election pledge. It’s as if they want to lose every seat in West London…

Boris is not very happy about the Greening move:

“There can be only one reason to move her – and that is to expand Heathrow airport. Clear that the government wants to ditch its promises. We will fight this all the way.” 

This could get messy. 

Speech via Jim Waterson.


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    I thought the Tories were against Heathrow expansion ?

    Well they were in opposition right?

  2. 2
    Beast says:

    They could go the whole hog and have more police helicopters buzzing us all day and night

  3. 3
    AveubenBorisised? says:

    Borisised DaveCam is GREENING around the gills .

  4. 4
    Selohesra says:

    I don’t really care if its Heathrow, Stanstead or Boris Island – so long as they don’t expand Gatwick

  5. 5
    PC Dave says:

    Who gives a shit about manifesto commitments? I am your dynamic leader who knows best, just like my hero St.Tone.

  6. 6
    Syn says:

    Go, Bojo, Go. Consign one-term-Dave to oblivion.

  7. 7
    Boris is right. says:

    Look no one except them that live on the strip of land between the North runway and the M4 (and it’s not many anyway) even remotely considered Dave’s silly promise not to expand Heathrow when they marked their X at the last election.

    But building a third runway is only a short term solution as that would only lead to demand for a fourth.

    The only sensible option and everyone knows it in their hearts is to build a new airport to the East of London either on those awful grotty wastelands on the southern Thames estuary or a man made Island (or a combination of both)

  8. 8
    Jim says:

    I live in the flight path and I’d love to see more aeroplanes overhead – wonderful machines! Maybe one day, Nick Clegg could be dropped out of one.

  9. 9
    Really? says:

    Of all the options, Boris Island makes the most sense, because it would adversely effect the least people and could provide thousands of jobs in the relatively depressed South Essex, North Kent areas.
    Given it’s obvious advantages and the fact that the affluence it would bring, would turn red areas blue, knobhead Cameron will ignore it and plump for Heathrow, no doubt.

  10. 10
    Beast says:

    Wouldnt it be a tragedy if a 777 or airbus crashed into the HOP on opening day ?
    I have a funny feeling that it would be a day of national rejoicing and not just in Bradford

  11. 11
    Synic says:

    Pour concrete all over that shithole called Canvey Island. Cheap runways and an improvement to the environment all in one project.

  12. 12
    I can't find my sunglasses says:

    Birmingham Airport will be fine especially when you upgrade the rail line.

    It will cost relatively little and will mean private enterprise will have to look elsewhere for future profitable contracts.

    they cannot keep relying on the taxpayers because soon there will be none left.

  13. 13
    not a machine says:

    Just have to wait and see on Heathrow , I am slightly more interested that a proper review is done and if any operational changes can be made .I would think Patrick Mcgoghlin will bring some proper focus on what may be needed in a different time scale

    I dont perhaps want to be picky as what is done , is done .Good move with Owen Patterson , providing he isnt a sell out on home building . Not sure about Hunt at health , we shall have to see how he thinks it through , Andrew Lansley was technically very adept at that brief .

    I would thought giving the chancellor some new experience would have made his hand stronger as he now runs the terrible risk of anchoring the coalition into problem areas of image around himself .

    I am undecided on his views on the need about universal benefits needing a trim , 3.3 mn are underemployed and I doubt that figure will change much .I fully support having a clean out of poor legislation for employers , but under labour so many problems were just being made proper . I mean immigration must have added to underemployment , the good jobs market has shrank and yet more people have come into the country 2mn since 1997.

    It probebly is the reshuffle the PM likes , looking at it , to govern is to choose .I doubt it will cure some of the problems and theres a whiff of cash making imperative pushing aside a more considered approach , which may lead to more problems , as I have said before if there isnt enough growth to service the mountain of debt (and it is a large an increasing mountain of debt) , which was wholly labours fault , then basically a wrong strategy will have been adopted , although how the EU faired perhaps needed to be assesed first

  14. 14
    I remember when there were public toilets in the Rhondda says:

    And let us not forget Cardiff and Bristol Airport which will benefit from that state funded rail upgrade.

    Londoners think the world centres around London but do not forget a lot of people live around the M4 and M5 corridors.

    You can sort out airport expansion within existing budgets.

  15. 15
    Eric Clapton and others says:

    Hear, hear. Or rather not here please.

  16. 16
    not a machine says:

    Exactly , why do you need to fly to London , all the time , I mean business travellers dont all go to london . improves returns if you can make better use of assetts .

    This could be more fun than guido thinks , for Osbourne will have to prove the case , now hes not been moved , hes run out of peripheral pawns to take any decent ordinance …

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    please go on

  18. 18
    The facts are says:

    Brum airport is a pokey hole with a very short runway. If you want to fly longhaul from Brum then you have to fly to a hub airport which more often than not means KLM to Schipol

  19. 19
    Ex-Tory says:

    With the paln to scrap the Green Belt protection, this has become slash and burn from Cameron and buddies. Destroy the Tories forever. Home Counties seats will become marginals. local CAs will withdraw support. Lots of money from big business, but nobody to knock on doors. The Conservative Party is sunk. UKIP for me.

  20. 20
    John Bellingham says:

    I cannot understand why governments and the civil service ponce around for years and years with their fingers up their bums. Surely there are people who leave scorch marks on their pillows who forecast and plan 10, 20, 30 years into the future? A new airport at Foulness or Wing was a huge issue when I was still at school and I am now retired. The first proposals went forward in 1967, were a shouting match for five years and abandoned in 1974–about the same time period as a new airport for Hong Kong was conceived, funded and built.
    If all the twerps and anoraks want to cause problems, built the fucking airport in the Pas de Calais and make the Chunnel profitable.

  21. 21
    The Tory Party - RIP says:

    The Conservative Party have one last hope and that is David Davis and Boris Johnson in no particular order.

    That idiot Cameron and his prat friend Osborne really are the useless and hopeless of our age.

    I saw the light in 2005 when Cast Iron Guarantee became Leader and abandoned ship. Watching the ship go down now I see all those in the water clinging on to UKIP lifevests

  22. 22
    Fish says:

    Work on their runway extension is underway

  23. 23
    Andrew says:

    A lot has changed since 1990.

    Boris Island sounds wonderful but would take far too long. We need a third runway NOW. Pull down the hotels on the Bath Road and put the runway there – the hotels can relocate. But do it, and do it now. The French way: national interests take priority over local interests. We need to get used to that.

  24. 24
    Montgomery Cheddar says:

    Please don’t

  25. 25
    Man of Kent says:

    Build in the Thames estuary – north Kent/Hoo ness is the obvious location.

    Absolute dump (yes, I’m from the region) and the work and financial investment would greatly improve the prospects. OK, a few foreign dickie birds and shytehawks might have to move on to Essex ……

  26. 26
    SAnth says:

    Heathrow is the only option – and was always meant to have a third runway anyway – if you want the UK to retain a major international hub airport over the next ten years (and it would be senseless not to want to).

    Moving extra traffic to Stansted, Gatwick, Bristol etc will just mean you fly to Amsterdam or Frankfurt before on to wherever. We’ll lose a national asset, there won’t be any environmental savings, and many of the distribution businesses, hotels, etc on the M4 corridor will go to the wall or relocate. (A Heathrow shaped hole in the economy of the west side of London, Slough and beyond, would take some filling.)

    Boris Island might work in the long long term future – building up the logistical infrastructure to service it would take simply ages – but it’s a future that’s a long way off. It’s dishonest (but convenient) of Boris to pretend otherwise.

  27. 27
    Brummy says:

    No it’s not, Only today is the Solihull observer calling for it to be extended. I would have thought anyone living in solihull would realise that there’s nowhere to extend it to.

  28. 28
    RUN A WAY DAVE the DOOR MOUSE of Downing street says:

    I stood for election on my cast iron promises
    now i’m in power i can do what the hell i like

    Toodle pip !

  29. 29
    Ed says:

    This is just ploy, Cammy boy has obviously changed his mind about a third runway at Heathrow so he brings in McLoughlin from a safe seat in Derbyshire, shuffles Greening and Villiers out of transport so they can still make out to their electorate that THEY opposed Heathrow expansion, they then have more chance of keeping their seats because both they and Cammy know that if they stayed at DfT and did a u turn they would be both out on their ears and Cammy would lose two more MP’s along with a few others along the flight path!

  30. 30
    Spare The Rod (Liddle) says:

    Such a runway would be too close to the existing northerly one (27R/09L) to allow parallel operation – for that it needs to be located 750m to the north, hence the Sipson/Harmondsworth proposal.

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Tories Would Lower Benefit Cap | Telegraph

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