THE shadow transport minister categorically denied a future Conservative government would build a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

Theresa Villiers, the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said the Conservatives would not build an airport between the Essex and Kent coastlines if they won the next general election.

Her statement contradicted Tory London mayor Boris Johnson’s recent calls for an estuary airport, as an alternative to extending Heathrow.

She made the statement during a whistle stop tour of Castle Point yesterday.

Mrs Villiers said: “It is not the Conservative policy to build an airport in the estuary. Boris is independent of the Conservatives on this issue.”

She added a future Conservative government would not be interested in building a third runway at Heathrow.

Ministers would look at ways to lower demand for short haul flights and the need for another runway, such as expanding high speed rail links across the country and into Europe.

Mrs Villiers was taken on a tour of local roads in need of improvement by Conservative parliamentary candidate for Castle Point Rebecca Harris, who hopes to defeat current MP Bob Spink at the next general election.

Mr Spink resigned from the Tory party last year and is now independent.

Mrs Villiers also met leader of the Castle Point Conservative Association Vera Partridge and local councillors including Ray Howard.

Mrs Villiers said: “I’m aware of the congestion problems on Canvey and the calls for a third road off the island.

“This is one of the local issues I would look into if I was part of a future Conservative government.”