Monday 27 June 2016 12:01 am

Over 50 business leaders have called for an "urgent" decision on airport expansion almost exactly a year after an official report lent its support to a new Heathrow runway

Over 50 business leaders have called on the government to urgently make a decision on expansion of capacity at London's airports, a year after an official report backed a new runway at Heathrow.

Prior to last week's Brexit vote, reports had suggested that a decision could be made as soon as 7 July.

However, following Prime Minister David Cameron's resignation last week, bosses from firms including Harrods, Tesco, Legal & General, Land Securities and ICAP have warned the Brexit verdict makes the case for expansion more urgent.

In an open letter to Cabinet ministers, they warn: “A further delay will only do more harm to our international competiveness. We therefore urge the Cabinet to make a final decision about where to build a new runway as a matter of urgency.”

Read More: Business group pushes for Heathrow decision as Gatwick pledge concessions

Let Britain Fly director Gavin Hayes told City A.M.: “Given the impact it has had on the economy already, this is a decision that the cabinet should give the green light to as quickly as possible to send a clear message that Britain is open for business.”

“Despite the fact that the Prime Minister has resigned, the government and ministers still have to govern the country.

“So regardless of the decision, the government should proceed and make a decision one way or another.”

The Airports Commission released a report backing expansion at Heathrow almost exactly a year ago on 1 July 2015.

However, Boris Johnson, currently favourite to succeed Cameron, is an avowed opponent of expanding Heathrow's services, and instead called for research around building a new airport in the Thames estuary.


The full list of signatories is:

  • Paul Walsh, Chairman, Compass Group
  • Philip Green, Chairman, Carillion
  • Robert Noel, Chief Executive, Land Securities Group
  • Michael Ward, Managing Director, Harrods
  • Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive, Mace
  • David Sleath, Chief Executive, SEGRO
  • Surinder Arora, CEO, Arora International
  • Bob Rothenberg MBE, Senior Partner, Blick Rothenberg LLP
  • Hugh Seaborn, Chief Executive, Cadogan
  • Sir George Iacobescu CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive, Canary Wharf Group
  • Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman, Cicero Group
  • Sir Paul Curran, Vice Chancellor, City University London
  • John Allan CBE, Chairman, Tesco
  • Kevin Murphy, Chairman, ExCeL London
  • Gordon Clark, Country Manager, Global Blue
  • Paul Wait, Chairman, GTMC
  • Michael Spencer, CEO, ICAP
  • George Kessler CBE, Group Deputy Chairman, Kesslers International
  • James Rook, Managing Director, Nimlok
  • John Rhodes, Director, Quod
  • Tim Hancock, Managing Director, Terence O’Rourke
  • Vincent Clancy, Chief Executive Officer, Turner & Townsend
  • Mark Boleat, Chairman of Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation
  • John Burns, Chief Executive, Derwent London
  • Inderneel Singh, Group Corporate Development Manager, Edwardian Group London
  • Chris Grigg, Chief Executive, British Land
  • Des Gunewardena, Chairman & CEO, D&D London
  • Sir John Ritblat, Chairman of Governors, London Business School
  • Paul Kelly, Chief Executive, Selfridges
  • Rebecca Kane-Burton, General Manager, The O2
  • Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, Great Portland Estates
  • Ian Reeves CBE, Senior Partner, Synaps Partners LLP
  • Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive Officer, UK Power Networks
  • Alan Brookes, CEO, Arcadis UK
  • Alan Belfield, CEO, Arup
  • Roger Nickells, CEO, BuroHappold Engineering
  • Fredrik Widlund, Chief Executive Officer, CLS Holdings
  • Michael Payton, Chairman, Clyde & Co
  • Digby Flower, Chairman UK, Cushman & Wakefield LLP
  • Paul Goswell, Managing Director, Delancey Real Estate Asset Management
  • Rob Holden, Chairman, HS1
  • Michael O’Callaghan, Director, Kier Group
  • Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive, Legal & General Group
  • Eiichiro Onozawa, Managing Director, Mitsui Fudosan UK
  • Killian Hurley, Chief Executive, Mount Anvil
  • Jeremy Long, Chief Executive Officer, MTR Corporation
  • Di Gowland, Principal and CEO, Newham College
  • Brian Bickell, Chief Executive, Shaftesbury
  • Michael Lowndes, Executive Director, Turley
  • Nick Taylor, Chief Executive, Waterman Group
  • Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive, London First
  • Bill Moore CBE, Chief Executive, The Portman Estate
  • Harold Paisner, Senior Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP