Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Backs New Runway at Stansted; EXCLUSIVE Boris: Cameron Policy Is to Muddy the Waters over New Airport Plans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Backs New Runway at Stansted; EXCLUSIVE Boris: Cameron Policy Is to Muddy the Waters over New Airport Plans

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak City Hall Correspondent

BORIS JOHNSON has given his support to plans to build a second runway at Stansted Airport, the Standard can reveal.

The Mayor said another runway at the airport would be a "fantastic step in the right direction" to solving the South-East's air capacity crisis before building a new hub in the Thames Estuary.

And he launched a blistering attack on the Government after David Cameron refused to rule out reconsidering expanding Heathrow following the next election in 2015.

Mr Johnson accused the Prime Minister of using "divide and rule" tactics and said his comments about a third runway at Heathrow were "a ruse designed to dissipate the energy of a campaign for a new airport".

Quoting Winston Churchill the Mayor added: "The Government is basically resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift." He said he still firmly believes that the South-East needs a new airport in the long term.

Mr Johnson is the most senior figure to call for a new runway at Stansted. The Crossrail project would be extended to serve the airport.

"It would be a good interim solution," he said. "A lot of money is now moving on to Stansted and the possibility of a high-speed rail link up there. You could be just as fast, if not faster, than at Heathrow."

His comments will be seen as an acceptance that the Government will not immediately opt for his favoured solution of a four-runway mega-hub -- dubbed Boris Island -- to be built in the Thames Estuary.

"If we built another runway at Stansted and put in a high-speed line that would be a fantastic step in the right direction," he added. "And then [we can] look at another hub. All options must be looked at."

In an interview with New York Magazine published today Mr Johnson again hinted that he may make a bid to lead the Tory Party in the future. …

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