Heathrow court case – and how the government misled Parliament

The court case (Judicial Review) against the government’s decision on a third runway at Heathrow commenced yesterday (11th March). The case is being brought by local councils, Friends of the Earth, the London Mayor  and Greenpeace, among others.

See newspaper report. Updates will no doubt be provided where possible on Facebook etc, eg https://www.facebook.com/NoR3Coalition/ but bear with us. Our resources are concentrated directly on the court case. We do not have large amounts of money to spend on public relations like Heathrow and the government have.

The specific aim of the case is to quash the ‘National Policy Statement’ (NPS). This is the document presented by Chris Grayling to Parliament in order to convince MPs to vote for a third runway. But the NPS contained materially misleading statements and omitted crucial information on air pollution, climate change, economic benefits and surface access to the airport, meaning that assent was given under false pretences.

See our document ‘How the government misled Parliament‘ which covers just one of these issues.

Nic Ferriday, spokesperson for West London Friends of Earth said “Our analysis shows clearly and comprehensively how the government sought to deceive MPs on climate change. This is a very serious matter – not just in respect of Heathrow, but also what it says about the government’s attitude to climate change. It signals as clearly as anything we have seen yet that this government is not interested in achieving the UK’s climate targets, while still pretending it is.

The High Court is, of all places, where truthfulness and honesty should be tested. But it gives the judge a very difficult decision. Does he do the right thing and quash the misleading and dishonest NPS? Or does he find some obscure legal reason to reject the claims, thereby retaining favour with the government, Heathrow and other purveyors of ‘fake news’.