Campaigners query West Ham United freebies for MPs paid for by London City Airport

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 December 2018

London City Airport. Picture: KEN MEARS

London City Airport. Picture: KEN MEARS


London City Airport has forked out £1,000 to pay for three MPs to watch West Ham play.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN East. Picture: Phil WeedonJohn Stewart, chair of HACAN East. Picture: Phil Weedon

Campaigners from HACAN East, a group concerned about the Royal Docks based transport hub’s impact on neighbourhoods, spotted the payments listed on an official register of MPs financial interests.

They fear the airport may be looking for government support to lift a cap on flights.

The register shows that Old Bexley and Sidcup MP, James Brokenshire – the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government – received two tickets including hospitality to the West Ham v Spurs game on October 20 costing the airport £354.

Elmet and Rothwell MP, Alec Shelbrooke, vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, received tickets for the Hammers v Crystal Palace match on January 30 and West Ham v Spurs on October 31.

Campaigners from HACAN East deliver a birthday cake to London City Airport at a protest in 2017. Picture: KEN MEARSCampaigners from HACAN East deliver a birthday cake to London City Airport at a protest in 2017. Picture: KEN MEARS

And London City spent £340 for Bromley and Chislehurst MP, Robert Neill, to see the same clashes between West Ham, Crystal Palace and Spurs.

The MPs declared the freebies in updates to the official register between October 30 and November 19.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, said: “You’ve got to ask the question what favours the airport might be looking for in exchange for free football tickets.

“It comes just a few weeks before London City is expected to publish its master plan outlining its future plans for the airport.” He added that its new chief executive, Robert Sinclair, went on record in an interview with the Press Association in July saying the airport might seek permission to lift the cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year.

A London City Airport spokesman said: “Like many other organisations, we regularly engage with MPs from all parties, especially those with constituencies around the airport, to discuss how City Airport supports local people through jobs, training and community initiatives.”

He added that there was to be no update on the hub’s master plan.

A total of 4.5million passengers used London City last year. It aims to hit a record 4.7m this year.

The airport is undergoing a £500m building programme with eight new aircraft stands, parallel taxiway and bigger passenger terminal due to be completed in 2022.

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