London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a devastating attack on the government's Airports Commission, accusing it of behaving like Simon Cowell.
The Mayor was said to be "profoundly unsettled" by the Commission's recent Interim Report which effectively sidelined his proposal for a new airport in the Thames estuary.
In a speech in London, the mayor's aviation advisor Daniel Moylan, said the Commission was treating the mayor at arm's length and appeared to regard him as "on a par with a private company motivated by commercial interests."
"This is absurd" said Moylan. He added, the Commission's decision making "has had a touch of Simon Cowell about it". Last month, the Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, published a shortlist of possible options for airport expansion.
New runways at Heathrow and Gatwick emerged as clear favourites but the Commission refused to shortlist any so-called "Boris Island" options.