Boris Johnson casts doubt over Heathrow expansion and HS2

9 December 2019, 09:34 | Updated: 9 December 2019, 10:39

Boris Johnson has cast doubt over whether a third runway will be built at Heathrow Airport - and questioned whether the money spent on HS2 could be used better.

The plan for expansion has been approved by parliament but there are a number of ongoing legal challenges.

The Prime Minister has previously promised to lie down in front of the bulldozers at Heathrow. And speaking exclusively to Nick Ferrari, he said he would find a way to "technically" back that promise.

Boris Johnson admitted Heathrow may not be expanded
Boris Johnson admitted Heathrow may not be expanded. Picture: LBC / PA

He said: "Heathrow is a private sector project which is yet to satisfy its strict legal obligations on air quality and noise pollution."

In the past, the Prime Minister promised to lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop a third runway, so Nick asked if that was still his position.

Nick said: "If you're a man who says he can deliver on promises, were the bulldozers to appear, would you lie down in front of them?"

The PM insisted: "I would have to find some way of honouring that promise. It might be technically difficult to do."

The controversial HS2 rail line
The controversial HS2 rail line. Picture: PA

Asked about whether he wants to continue with HS2, he added: "We've got a review going on to look at whether the money could be better spent.

"That's not to say I am temperamentally hostile to big infrastructure projects. But the issue is we're a new administration. If you come in and there's a project of north of £100billion probably, you have to ask yourself, it's only responsible to the taxpayer to ask whether it's being sensibly spent and that funding is being prioritised right."

The government currently have the budget for HS2 at £88billion, so Nick questioned how he managed to add an extra £13billion to the total.

Mr Johnson responded: "Looking at how these things go, it probably will come in at over £100billion, that's my guess. But at the moment, you're right, it's £88billion. That is still an awful lot of money."