Boris Johnson has gone back on his claim that he would lie down in front of bulldozers to stop the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport, saying that would now be ‘technically difficult’.
The prime minister was asked by Nick Ferrari about the costs and controversies of a proposed third runway and HS2 on LBC Radio.
He had previously told the press: “I will lie down with you [John McDonnell] in front of those bulldozers and stop the construction of that third runway.”
Ferrari asked Johnson whether that was still the case.
Johnson said: “Well Nick I don’t see any much sign of many bulldozers yet.”
Boris Johnson tells LBC it will be "difficult" for him to stop Heathrow expansion.— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) December 9, 2019
Boris Johnson speaking after his election: "I will lie down with you in front of those bulldozers and stop the construction of that third runway." pic.twitter.com/6Pzvjfwehf
Ferrari then said to the prime minister: “If you’re a man who can deliver on promises – were those bulldozers to appear, would you lie down in front of them?”
“I would have to find some way of honouring that promise,” Johnson admitted. “But it would be technically difficult to achieve.”
“Let’s wait and see when the bulldozers arrive, the issue with Heathrow as you know is there is still substantial doubt about the ability of the promoters to meet their obligations on air quality and noise pollution.
“But as you know parliament has voted very substantially in favour of that project, so that’s where we’re at.”
In the same interview, Johnson also boosted the proposed cost of HS2 by approximately 15%, or at least another £13bn pounds, telling Nick Ferrari that the project would probably end up costing the taxpayer north of £100bn instead of the planned £88bn.
He was slammed by voters on social media for both comments, with one person saying: “He’s being disingenuous (what a surprise) when he says it’ll be “difficult”.
Another added: “Boris is a serial liar. You can’t trust him or the party he leads”.