Steve O’Connell AM: Thank you very much, Chair. Mr Mayor, I admire very much Len’s [Len Duvall AM] very elegant attempts to disguise the policy U-turn of the Labour Party. I am pleased very much that my Labour comrades in Croydon are still very much supporting Gatwick and are opposing Heathrow. Mr Mayor, this is a good debate, but we must acknowledge that after Davies’ [Sir Howard Davies, Chair, Airports Commission] decision, anything around Heathrow is going to collapse into a quicksand of conditions, objections and challenges. It is just not going to happen and will be pushed back many years.
To irritate you, Mr Mayor, I still believe the Estuary Airport remains and will remain only a twinkle in your mayoral eye. I believe it is not going to happen. Therefore, logically, the only thing that will suit will be Gatwick. I know that was not something to your taste earlier on, but we are talking about practicalities. We can discuss this and scrutinise this for many years to come, but there is a need for capacity. Gatwick is ready to go. It requires a small fraction of the public funding that Heathrow would do, if Heathrow ever happens. There are some political objections, but not to the degree that Heathrow has. Gatwick could be built within seven or eight years. Therefore, logically, we should be pushing for Gatwick and of course this will assist jobs and opportunities throughout south London.
Mr Mayor, can I again ask you to support, to put your weight behind and also to urge any incumbent-to-be to support a further runway at Gatwick?