Site owners are taking legal advice on today’s announcement by the Conservatives
THE owners of the Manston airport site are considering whether to make a formal complaint to the Electoral Commission about an announcement made by the Conservatives earlier today.
Transport minister John Hayes announced today he was “satisfied” by the indemnity offered by RiverOak, to protect the council against the costs of the Compulsory Purchase Order.”
RiverOak intend to acquire the site from its current owners through a compulsory purchase in partnership with Thanet council.
However, in a statement, businessmen Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, who acquired a majority stake in the site in September last year, have branded the announcement a “disgrace”.
The pair said they were seeking legal advice on whether the Tories has breached Electoral Commission regulations.
The statement said: “There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that the announcement by John Hayes is a deliberate attempt to make Manston Airport a political football.
“The timing of his statement is a disgrace and as the Transport Minister he should have exercised an element of impartiality and objectivity.
“He undoubtedly knows that his statement breaches every code in the book so far as elections are concerned.
“In addition, it is extremely disappointing that Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay have aided and abetted the process as a whole and in our opinion they should both know better.
“This is a clear attempt to create favour with the voters by using our property.
“We agree wholeheartedly with the Leader of Thanet District Council, who clearly sees the statement for what it is and sees the gross error made by Sir Roger Gale, Craig Mackinlay and John Hayes.
“We are now taking legal advice with a view to making a formal complaint to the Electoral Commission.”
Thanet council leader Iris Johnston earlier today (Thursday) told the Isle of Thanet Gazette the Conservatives were “playing politics” ahead of next month’s General Election.