Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has said Heathrow Airport’s plans for a third runway could only pass pollution tests if they are “rigged”.
Mr Goldsmith told BBC Radio 4 that Heathrow Airport expansion, which he strongly opposes, will only be given the go-ahead if environmental standards that must be met are “rigged”.
He insisted the campaign against a third runway had been “won” and Heathrow was now “off the agenda”.
Mr Goldsmith told the programme:
“Heathrow cannot pass the air pollution test unless the test is rigged.”
“If Heathrow passes the air pollution test and is given a green light, that could only mean that the test has been set in such a way that Heathrow was always going to pass it,” he added.
“I’m not not trusting anyone, I think Heathrow is off the agenda, I think we have won this campaign.
“The only way that Heathrow can be given the green light now is if the test is rigged.”
Mr Goldsmith is a hugely popular MP in Richmond, one of the most affluent areas in the UK, but parts of Richmond are seriously affected by the noise and air pollution from Heathrow.
In 2009, David Cameron, told an audience in Richmond, including Zac Goldsmith and PassengerSelfService:
“The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts,”
Residents of Richmond voted overwhelmingly in a local referendum against Heathrow expansion.
But, Mr Goldsmith’s position is becoming a bit blurred as he told the BBC this week that he would not resign as Mayor of London if Heathrow was given the go-ahead.
Asked if he would resign if he became London mayor and Heathrow was given the go-ahead, he replied: “No, of course not.”
Election for Mayor of London in May 2016
Mr Goldsmith is the Conservative party candidate for Mayor of London.
The current Mayor is the hugely popular Boris Johnson who has been elected twice.
Mr Johnson and Mr Goldsmith say they are totally opposed to Heathrow expansion.
Mr Goldsmith is the MP for Richmond where PassengerSelfService is based.
I’ve spoken with Mr Goldsmith about Heathrow expansion on a number of occasions, most recently a few days before the UK general election in 2015.
Mr Goldsmith told me that the argument had been won and that Heathrow expansion would not happen.
I was at the event in Richmond in 2009, about 5 yards directly in front of Mr Cameron and Mr Goldsmith when he said:
“The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts.”