Newman and Philp ignore air quality to welcome Gatwick news

PAUL LUSHION, our environment correspondent, on how Croydon’s politicians have a Trump-like capacity for ignoring the rapidly impending threat of Global Warming

All ready for take-off: Politicians have ignored what Gatwick’s will plans do for Croydon air quality?

The Croydon political duopoly had some cross-party consensus this morning, as senior Labour and Tory figures almost knocked one another over in their rush to greet the announcement by Gatwick Airport that it is to go ahead with a scheme to double its number of runways.

“Gatwick Airport just announced plans to bring its standby runway into full use as a second runway,” tweeted Chris Philp, the Conservative MP for Croydon South, which is barely 10 miles up the M23 from London’s second airport.

“It is not too costly and requires no government funding. It will increase capacity by 40 to 50 per cent. Provided they contribute to local infrastructure (eg Brighton mainline), I’m 100 per cent behind this.”

What’s global warming? Tony Newman

And Tony Newman, the £55,000 per year Labour-lite leader of Croydon Council, also spared no public expense by getting a Town Hall press officer to push out his self-important opinion on the matter.

“I warmly welcome the news of this significant expansion plan at Gatwick, as Croydon has a crucial position as an economic and transport centre linking London and the South East corridor,” Newman was transcribed as saying by the council flunky.

“The airport’s announcement today is good news for Croydon because it promises a major boost for the regional economy and thousands of jobs for residents in our borough and beyond.”

Newman claimed that “this proposal would make Croydon an even more attractive place to live, work and invest”.

Though not if you can’t breathe because local air quality is so polluted…

Labour in Croydon has long supported runway expansion at Gatwick, despite the obvious environmental considerations. This just might be connected to Sarah Jones, now the MP for Croydon Central, whose previous job was in public relations for… Gatwick Airport.

Newman, Philp and others appear prepared to ignore all environmental considerations because of the economic benefits, which claim that the increased air traffic to Gatwick could boost the regional economy by £2billion, providing 8,000 new jobs at the airport and a very weasle-like boast of “up to 20,000 for the wider region”, where “up to” can cover any number from one…

Suffice to say, not everyone in Croydon has such short memories as to have forgotten the Doomsday report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which warned there is just 12 years for the global population to take meaningful action to prevent irreversible climate change. That report was only published 10 days ago.

One Croydon South resident responded to Philp’s tweet: “That’s our MP completely ignoring the contribution that the aviation industry makes to climate change.”

Another resident drew attention to the fact that Gatwick Airport was making its announcement in something called “Green Great Britain Week”, an initiative by Philp’s own government.

Philp’s rush to welcome an extra runway at Gatwick was questioned by Labour Party members

Green Great Britain Week “is your chance to learn about how clean growth is helping to provide new job opportunities, grow our economy for the benefit of us all and help tackle climate change. And to get involved in building a cleaner, green future,” the government website states. More airport runways, and more jet flights, is generally regarded as incompatible with such objectives.

Perhaps Philp never got the memo?

Philp was challenged on the matter by someone who works for an environmental charity. “Not a great look on the Government’s Green Great Britain Week!” they wrote on social media. “How do the carbon emissions look on that?” was the question put by Croydon Central Constituency Labour Party’s youth officer, Daniel Jones.

That Gatwick realises that Croydon can be affected by its expansion plans is demonstrated by it staging a public consultation event on its runway proposals in the Centrale shopping centre on November 8.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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2 Responses to Newman and Philp ignore air quality to welcome Gatwick news

  1. Nick Mattey says:

    Newman has already welcomed in the Viridor incinerator, whose greenhouse emissions can only speed up global warming.

    At the rate the Earth’s temperature is rising, Iceland will be come the destination of choice for sun worshipers flying from Gatwick.

    Newman is living proof that paying someone £55,000 a year is no guarantee that you can get someone who can think strategically.

    Croydon, just like Sutton, are making their names as environmental pariahs and are leaving an appalling legacy for any future generations that can survive massive rises in temperature.

  2. In a just world, those who pollute ithe planet should pay the price. I’m sure also those who believe in ‘market forces’ would support this concept (joke)! Here there ought to be a massive tax on air travel and the money put in to an electric car charge point at pretty much every lamp post. It might additionally help to offset the treatment of all those children who now have asthma. As John Lennon said “some people say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one”.

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