24 AUGUST 2015


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Article from BTNews 24 AUGUST 2015

COMMENT: Is the Mayor out of control?

Last Wednesday the much read  London Evening Standard  newspaper, under the by-line of Mark Blunden, ran the headline “Mayor gets £525,000 (plus VAT) to fight City Airport’s appeal over expansion.” 

It seems that Boris has secured over half a million pounds for the lawyers and self-accredited consultants to try and stop the democratically agreed expansion to London City Airport.  Even his spokesman admitted that all concerns were very clearly dealt with by the Public Enquiry and that the recommendation within City Hall was to go ahead.

Who knows what he spent on trying to promote his Estuary Airport scheme which was turned down by the Airports Commission, other significant players, and even the Met Office who said it was “three times” more foggy than Heathrow.  One thing for sure he did not spend his own money.  The doomed project was funded by the London taxpayer. 

What the piece did not say was the Boris explanation was linked to his well stated opposition to Heathrow expansion.  Nor did it mention his appointment of Daniel Moylan, his transport advisor (a civil servant with no air or rail knowledge) on to the Board of Transport for London where he sits opposite others including Keith Williams, Chief Executive of British Airways. 

Mr Moylan is now also on the Board of Crossrail and is strongly opposed to the introduction of a station on the site of the old Silvertown halt of the North London Line just 150 yards from the airport terminal.  This would also serve the community of North Woolwich.  Mr Moylan has never given an explanation to this opposition.  Is this due to the Mayor’s stance on London City?

Boris Johnson is the elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.  He did not have to pick that constituency.  There were others available.  The largest employer and revenue earner in the area is Heathrow Airport, which he intends eventually to close.  Strange choice.

What happens next to the US citizen and former journalist?  Mr Johnson was not elected Mayor of London, his opponent Ken Livingstone effectively self-defeating.  Boris has accepted an invitation from the Prime Minister to attend political cabinet, whatever that means.  This is not a ministerial appointment.  He does not attend full Cabinet nor run any department.  He expects an appointment to Cabinet when he completes his Mayoral duties next April.  But someone else will have to move. And he was not asked by the Prime Minister to join the special Cabinet sub-committee to look at the Airports Commission recommendations even allowing for the fact his constituents are affected the most!

One thing is pretty certain.  The airport expansion will probably get the go-ahead next May in spite of the Mayor's opposition.  No embarrassment for Boris.  He would have gone!

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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

Michael Gee, London

Mr Skinner (see below) is wrong. Boris Johnson needs to justify spending over half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money on a fruitless task to stop the properly approved plans for expansion of London City Airport. Under the Freedom of Information Act the cost of his Estuary Airport ideas needs looking into, once again not paid for by him. Once it was turned down that should have been the end of it. But no. Johnson still carries on.

Stephen Skinner , Bishop\'s Stortford

I am no particular fan of Boris, but I am afraid your rambling article says little or nothing and is a mish-mash of assertions with no real evidence. You clearly wish to knock Boris as he is against Heathrow expansion. If you must do it, then at least do it better!