15 MARCH 2021


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Article from BTNews 15 MARCH 2021

COMMENT: Is Caesar (the PM) about to be stabbed by Brutus (his constituents)?

Under the umbrella of “Back Heathrow”, Uxbridge residents have written to Boris Johnson as their member of parliament (Uxbridge and South Ruislip) regarding the critical situation of job losses at the airport.

They have been left bemused and disappointed by his response. Heathrow is not only the biggest employer in the prime minister’s own constituency but the country’s biggest single site employer.

Back Heathrow is a community group with over 100,000 supporters, including businesses, employees, unions and residents. Over 50% of Back Heathrow’s supporters live within five miles of the airport.

According to a recent report by Oxford Economics, the collapse in air travel threatens over 60,000 local jobs.

Calling for financial support for the airport Uxbridge resident and Back Heathrow supporter Ranjit Sihota said: “As someone with a family member who was made redundant from the airport, the response by the prime minister shows that he just doesn’t understand airport communities and what his own constituents are going through right now.”

In his emailed reply Mr Johnson refers to measures to help limit the impact of reduced airport activity due to Covid-19, including the business rate scheme.

Back Heathrow executive director, Parmjit Dhanda, said that although any kind of government support during the pandemic was welcome these measures ultimately failed the aviation industry – and Heathrow in particular.

“The business rates waiver scheme is capped for airports at £8m, but Heathrow has the largest single rates bill in Britain at £116m. These kinds of caps have not applied in other industries, and so are hitting communities like the PM’s constituency hardest.”

The PM is clearly out of touch with his own constituents.  Uxbridge and South Ruislip considered a ‘safe’ Tory seat when he stood down as mayor of London.  He had in a previous life represented Henley, also on the Heathrow flight path.  His opposition to the airport is well known, threatening to lie down in front of the bulldozers if the third runway goes ahead.

His Latin is supposed to be good as a product of Eton. “Et tu Brute” could be his response too!

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Graham Greenwood, United Kingdom

IMHO, doris out of touch with every business and organisation, and way out of his depth in dealing with the pandemic. The country would benefit from his prompt resignation.

Duncan Reed, Eton

I believe this is a politically motivated article. Heathrow should not receive any preferential treatment than any other business during this period of lockdown.

Jim James, Beckton

Yes. Mr Jones is right. He will be stabbed in the back at Westminster. And like the original Caesar will good down in history as flawed.

Jacob Jones, London

Strange man is Caesar. I don’t think he knows what he wants. It is not the constituency for him but he is stuck with it now if he wants to stay on at the next General Election. But it is not the Brutus from Uxbridge he needs to watch. It’s his own party.