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Boris goes shopping for Eastleigh by-election votes

Boris Johnson is in Eastleigh on the by-election campaign trail. The Mayor of London is the latest in a line of heavyweight Conservatives supporting the Tory candidate Maria Hutchings. Read more about the Eastleigh by-election by clicking here.

The other candidates are: Labour - John O'Farrell; Liberal Democrats - Mike Thornton; UK Independence Party - Diane James; National Health Action - Iain MacLennan; Peace Party - Jim Duggan; Independent - Danny Stupple; English Democrats - Mike Walters ...

Monster Raving Loony Party - Alan Hope; Wessex Regionalists - Colin Bex; Elvis Loves Pets - David Bishop; The Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party - Ray Hall; Christian Party - Kevin Milburn; Trade Unionists and Socialists - Daz Procter.

Is Boris Island pie in sky?

He thinks it's a good idea and he is sticking with it. Despite a new report suggesting that it would cost the tax payer billions to build a floating airport hub in the middle of the Thames Estuary, Lord Mayor Boris Johnson has remained unrelenting in his support for the project.

He brushed over suggestions that expansion at Stansted might now be his preferred option for development of British airport capacity, but conceded it's a possibility. More later.

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Sky Town, Kent?

London Mayor Boris Johnson has suggested that a new Kent airport could trigger major expansion. On his tour to India he said an offshore airport in the Thames Estuary may lead to schools, hospitals and further development.

We have an interview with Boris Johnson in India and response from Kent MPs Gordon Henderson and Mark Reckless - plus Kent County Council leader Paul Carter.

Boris still supports island option

In another recent development, London Mayor Boris Johnson met Sir Howard Davies yesterday to restate his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow and to express concern about what he sees an an unnecessarily long timeframe for the commission to report back on aviation options for the south.

Mr Johnson favours a new Thames Estuary airport or possible expansion at Stansted. A poll of MPs earlier this week showed that the so-called "Boris Island" scheme had little support. Of 93 MPs surveyed, only 16 per cent backed the plan, with 46 per cent supporting expansion at Heathrow.

The all-party 2M Group, which represents more than 20 local councils close to Heathrow, has said it will tell the Davies Commission that loosening restrictions on Heathrow's existing runways would destroy the quality of life for flightpath communities on all sides of the west London airport.

Heathrow bosses push for hub

Bosses at Heathrow airport will make the case today for the UK to maintain a major hub airport. Colin Matthews, chief executive at Heathrow will launch a report entitled One Hub or None. Currently, Heathrow is the UK's major hub airport.

The need for a major hub forms part of the work of the Whitehall-appointed Aviation Commission, headed by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies. The Heathrow report is being sent to Sir Howard whose team will report on aviation policy to the Government by the end of 2013.

They will give a final report in summer 2015. Mr Matthews is expected to argue that splitting a hub between Heathrow and Gatwick - the so-called Heathwick option - is not practical and that building up other airports as major hubs would not work either.

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Boris orders options for Heathrow

Heathrow Airport Credit: PA

London Mayor Boris Johnson has hired consultants to examine alternative uses for Heathrow as part of his commercial case for developing a new £50bn hub airport in the Thames Estuary.

The Mayor has instructed engineering consultants Atkins, accountants Ernst & Young and aviation experts LeighFisher to examine a range of scenarios for Britain’s current aviation hub.

A spokesman for the Mayor insisted they had “not been asked to look at any options where Heathrow would be completely closed” – something many in the industry believe would be necessary to make the planned new airport, dubbed Boris Island, fly commercially.

The consultants’ work on Heathrow is part of a bigger study into Mr Johnson’s case for a Thames Estuary airport, which has put him on a potential collision course with David Cameron.

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