Chronicle readers may be interested to know that the Conservatives continue to be split from top to bottom on the Heathrow issue, despite the policy they announced at their conference.
In a recent Channel 4 news bulletin (October 16), presenter Krishnan Guru-Murphy stated that the new Tory pledge to scrap a third runway in favour of a high speed rail link 'is already coming off the tracks' due to the criticism it is drawing from Conservative back benchers.
One of the many pro-expansion Tories quoted in the programme was David Wilshire, MP for nearby Spelthorne. He said that to oppose a third runway is 'the wrong thing to do'. He also poured scorn over his party's claims about the number of domestic routes, insisting that 'the figures are just sucked out of the air'.
Conservative MP Ian Taylor stated that a third runway is necessary on the grounds that 'we need Heathrow to keep the south east economy vibrant' - a view echoed by an anonymous member of the Shadow Cabinet.
But perhaps most ominously, Tory MP John Redwood warned that because of recession, the prospects of raising the money needed for the rail project 'are low'.
And there is the rub: a high speed rail link costs £16billion of public money whereas the third runway would cost 9bn 'pounds' of private sector money.
Given the traditional hostility of the Conservatives towards public sector investment, it is no wonder that the Tory leader cannot take his party with him on this issue.
P HALING Farm Close, Southall.