Goldsmith London mayoral candidacy raises Heathrow concerns

Goldsmith London mayoral candidacy raises Heathrow concerns

British business groups have raised concern over the anti-airport expansion stance of London’s mayoral candidates.

Leading Heathrow expansion opponent Zac Goldsmith was selected as the Conservative candidate on Friday.

He will face Labour candidate Sadiq Khan next May. Khan is backing a second runway at Gatwick after previously backing a third runway at Heathrow, citing air quality concerns, City A.M. reported.

British Chambers of Commerce director general, John Longworth, told the newspaper that businesses will be “alarmed” by the candidates’ positions.

"Although the candidates' opposition is unsurprising, it is depressing, as the need for expansion at Heathrow and other key airports grows more pressing and more obvious by the day," he said.

"Ministers must not join the mayoral candidates in burying their heads in the sand on this critical issue.

"We need a green light for a new runway, and we need it fast.

"The national interest - growth and prosperity - must be put ahead of petty politicking."

CBI deputy director-general, Katja Hall, would not comment specifically on the mayoral candidates, but said: “We cannot afford to wait any longer and we look forward to the government delivering on the PM's pledge to make a decision by 2016.”

The Airports Commission recommended building a third runway at Heathrow in July with a decision by government due by the end of the year.


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