Hit or Miss? Back Heathrow "grassroots" campaign attempts to gather public support for the airport's expansion

Back Heathrow joined the debate on airport capacity, describing itself as a grassroots campaign to defend jobs that rely on the airport.

Plane speaking: Heathrow campaigning group under scrutiny (Picture credit: Getty Images)
Plane speaking: Heathrow campaigning group under scrutiny (Picture credit: Getty Images)

It was accused by local residents of biasing its survey questions in favour of the airport’s expansion and by MP John McDonnell of being "a con" funded by Heathrow. Campaign co-ordinator Rob Gray retorted that he had disclosed the funding from launch and called on the MP to apologise. Gray also claimed to have received more than 10,000 positive survey responses after four weeks. 

How I see it

Paul Wheeler, corporate affairs director, Kellogg’s UK

Let’s separate the campaign from the controversy for a moment.

Should there be a platform that allows people with an interest in the future of the airport to express their views? Yes. After all, Mayor Boris has had plenty to say on Heathrow, so why shouldn’t people who actually earn their livings from it also have some airtime?

In my view, Back Heathrow has fallen foul of an aversion to corporate-backed issue campaigns. After all, we’d think nothing of charities coming together to lobby on something, so why do we have a problem when it’s a business that does it?

Heathrow Airport wants to survive, so it should be perfectly acceptable for it to fund a campaign to achieve that end.

As to those critics who say Back Heathrow is presenting a one-sided view, I’d say: who’s ever heard of a two-sided lobbying campaign? Whether it’s too little, too late is another debate.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.