TAINTED PRO-RUNWAY CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR GETS HEATHROW JOB IN COMMUNITY RELATIONS TEAM

Press Release

 

25 April 2017

 

For immediate use



TAINTED PRO-RUNWAY CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR GETS HEATHROW JOB IN COMMUNITY RELATIONS TEAM

 

Residents were left dumbfounded and angered on Tuesday as individuals were being contacted regarding the appointment of Rob Gray as the new Director of Community and Stakeholder Relations at Heathrow Airport. Until recently, Gray had been the Director of Back Heathrow Ltd., a company set up by Heathrow Airport Ltd., to promote a third runway at Heathrow.

 

Under Gray’s leadership, Back Heathrow was found by the Advertising Standards Agency to have produced misleading adverts aimed at politicians, where they overstated support for their campaign (1). On a different occasion, Gray oversaw a mismanagement whereby people replying to their campaign materials were automatically registered as supporters (2).

 

Gray also led the campaign into scare tactics, designed at making local residents fear that if they didn’t back a third runway, Heathrow would decline and close, causing mass unemployment across west London (3).

 

Gray’s new role requires him to foster good relationships with the local community and strive to make Heathrow the better neighbour it should be.

 

Rob Barnstone, Campaign Coordinator for Stop Heathrow Expansion, said:Heathrow are taking a backward step in community engagement with this appointment.

 

“Many people are sceptical enough about engaging with the community relations team already. The fact that somebody who headed up such a controversial and tainted company, masquerading as a grassroots residents group, is now to be dealing with the very people whose homes he has spent four years trying to destroy.

 

 “Is it April Fool’s Day again?”
 

Harlington resident Christine Taylor, whose home will be severely impacted by a third runway, said: “I can’t imagine a worse appointment than Rob Gray who has spent the past four years working hard to destroy our homes, our health and our livelihoods. I’m shocked.”

 

Stop Heathrow Expansion is a local resident-led group based in the villages around Heathrow: Harmondsworth, Longford, Sipson and Harlington. IT campaigns to protect the local area from a bigger Heathrow.

 

 

Ends.

 

 

Notes

 

 

1 – http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/back-heathrow-advert-banned-false-11213129

2 http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/11776685.Back_Heathrow_campaign_number_doubts_as_opponents_sent_supporter_emails/

3 – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/scare-tactics-land-heathrow-in-trouble-zns99cn8c62

 

For more information

 

Rob Barnstone; 07806 947050; robertbarnstone@outlook.com

 

Rob Barnstone