Heathrow funding of campaign group revealed

Heathrow admits funding lobby group but won't say how much they give

Heathrow has finally been named as a funder of a ‘fake’ campaign group that claims that Heathrow will become a feeder for Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris without a third runway.

Opposition to a third runway at Heathrow is overwhelming in West London, the area that is permanently blighted by the noise and air pollution from Heathrow.

Heathrow funding of campaign group revealed
Heathrow funding of campaign group revealed

Heathrow has now admitted that it ‘contributes to’ the highly controversial Back Heathrow, an organisation that claims to represent people who live near Heathrow and want it to expand.

The group has been mailing colour leaflets to West London residents for the past year and has paid for four-page full colour adverts in local newspapers many times and for surveys.

What does Back Heathrow say?

They make a lot of dodgy claims (locally called the Heathrow dodgy dossier) and like the original dodgy dossier they seem to just make stuff up and hope people will believe it.

The Back Heathrow leaflets includes this claim:

Without a third runway, Heathrow decays to become a small feeder airport to overseas hubs such as Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam

Quite ridiculous.

Who are Back Heathrow?

Back Heathrow was set up by Rob Gray, a former director of the Aviation Foundation, and Nathan Fletcher, the head of News at … Heathrow.

The Back Heathrow campaign manager is Michael Appleton, who previously worked at … Heathrow as a Communications Officer.

Where does the Back Heathrow money come from?

The mail shots and adverts are obviously hugely expensive and it has finally been revealed that Heathrow does indeed fund Back Heathrow. But Heathrow doesn’t seem to know how much it actually pays to Back Heathrow.

What does Heathrow say?

Heathrow has finally admitted paying the group but doesn’t seem to know how much.

Heathrow adverts can be just as bad as those from Back Heathrow.

LHR-ad-with-little-girl-LHRa small child needs a new Heathrow runway for her future welfare

This is an advert by Heathrow that has had many complaints to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA have taken this matter up with Heathrow, to be dealt with under the ASA’s formal investigations procedure.

Gatwick Chairman accuses Heathrow of scaremongering

LGW Chairman McNulty
Gatwick Chairman Sir Roy McNulty

In an open letter to the chair of the commission, Gatwick’s chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, accused the group of scaremongering by saying in a questionnaire that without expansion Heathrow would close.

He added: “I believe that the commission and everybody else should view the statements and outputs from the Back Heathrow campaign with strong scepticism.”

Richmond Tory MP

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, said: “You have paid fortunes to Back Heathrow – a bogus community group – even though you have publicly stated that you disagree with its message; expand or wither away. Essentially you have been funding the dissemination of material you know to be misleading. Worse, this campaign, which you fund, has targeted elected representatives like the leader of Hillingdon council in the run up to the local elections. You are a vast, foreign-owned corporation, and you have sought to pervert the democratic outcome.”

West London residents

Residents of West London who have received the leaflets openly refer to them as dodgy dossiers, laugh at the biased questionnaires and then throw them in the rubbish (for recycling into something useful).

Airports Commission

The Airports Commission will hold a second and final public meeting near Gatwick later this month. It will deliver a recommendation for one new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick after the 2015 general election.

Opposition to a third runway at Heathrow is overwhelming in West London, the area that is permanently blighted by the noise and air pollution from Heathrow.

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