PLANS for a new airport on an island in the Thames Estuary - dubbed ‘Boris Island’ - have finally been ruled out by Mr Johnson himself.

Today, James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, announced he had personally received assurances that there would not be an airport in the Thames Estuary if he becomes the next Prime Minister.


Pleased - James Duddridge

For years, Mr Johnson, the current frontrunner in the Tory leadership race, has insisted a four-runway hub either in the Thames Estuary or at an expanded Stansted Airport is the only way to secure the number of new routes required to boost the UK economy.

His plans were put forward as an alternative to a third runway at Heathrow despite the Airport Commission rejecting the plans and Johnson’s own report classing it as a “risk to the taxpayer”.

The £112 billion scheme, which was planned to be built on the Isle of Grain, in Kent, would have meant a clash in air space which could have seen Southend Airport and City Airport in London forced to close.

The plans also caused concern about putting strain on an already-stressed infrastructure system in the south east of England.

James Duddridge had consistently opposed any coastal airport in the estuary over fears it would be detrimental to the town and south Essex as a whole.

Mr Duddridge, who has backed Mr Johnson in the leadership race, said: “Boris has assured me there will not be a new airport in the estuary.

“I opposed it and am glad it has now been ruled out.

“Meanwhile, I continue to support the growth of Southend Airport and recently welcomed the news of extra trains servicing the terminal after lobbying the Secretary of State for Transport, Greater Anglia and Network Rail.

“This means passengers and airport staff can now travel easier between Southend Airport and London early in the morning and late at night.”

Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation - owners of Southend airport, said: "We welcome this confirmation and look forward to continuing the development of LSA as part of the immediate solution to the capacity crunch in London’s airport system."