The Ministry of Transport (DfT) emphatically rejects the allegations against the Minister of Transport
The deputy Labor leader has called for an investigation into allegations that Grant Shapps used taxpayers’ money to counter planning developments that violate trajectories.
Angela Rayner accuses the Minister of Transport of a violation of the Ministerial Code as well as a “complete and complete violation of all standards of integrity and decency in public office”.
She has written to Lord Geidt, the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministerial Interests, asking what steps have been taken to verify the allegations and asking if Mr Shapps is being investigated for breach of Ministerial Law.
Ms. Rayner listed five clauses of the Code that she believed had been violated by the Secretary of Transportation.
The Ministry of Transport (DfT) firmly rejects the allegations against Mr Shapps.
A report claims the minister spent public funds to campaign against the government’s own housing plans, which would be developed on private runways – including some that Mr. Shapps, an avid aviator, personally used.
Corresponding The Sunday Times, Mr. Shapps has “established and diverted public funds” to a new team within the Civil Aviation Authority, the Airfield Advisory Team, which is alleged to be used against planning developments that violate runways.
Objections from the group helped thwart plans for 3,000 homes on Chalgrove, an airfield in south Oxfordshire, the newspaper claims.
The group is also reported to have spoken out against plans to build a battery gigafactory at Coventry Airport – a project that has won the Prime Minister’s support.
However, DfT officials said the Airfield Advisory Team was not a lobbying body, but instead “assisted general aviation on a number of matters affecting its operations.”
A government source told PA news agency, “This body is not a lobbying body, but an advisory body that helps general aviation with any problems they may have, be it planning or anything else.
“It’s not essentially anti-housing – in fact, housing can sometimes be a solution to airport funding.
“As Minister of Transport, it is [Grant Shapps’s] General aviation protection function and the number of airports across the country has decreased. “
A DfT spokeswoman said: “It is right that the Secretary of Transport is working to promote all aspects of the department’s mission, including the general aviation sector, which contributes £ 4 billion to the economy and supports 40,000 jobs, especially as we look forward to our recovery of the pandemic and the creation of a diverse workforce that is fit for the future. “
Yesterday, Cabinet Secretary Alok Sharma defended Mr Shapps, telling the BBC his colleague was doing “a great job in transportation” but added that he had no details on the lobbying claims after “crouching” in the Glasgow climate summit for three weeks COP26.
The allegations against the transport minister come because the government is involved in allegations of dirt in the wake of the Owen Paterson scandal.
The focus has now shifted to whether MPs are allowed to have second jobs after it was found that 11 Tory MPs earn from their extra jobs outside of Parliament than their actual Westminster salaries.