Building a new airport in the Thames Estuary to the east of London would boost growth on former industrial sites in the capital, Boris Johnson said.
He hit out at proposals put forward by Nick Clegg for new garden cities on the “lush fields of the South East”, saying the Deputy PM wants to build houses “in the wrong place”.
Mr Johnson questioned Mr Clegg’s motives, asking in his Daily Telegraph column: “Does Clegg care? Why should he? He knows full well that these are Tory seats.”
He added: “There is no need to impose a series of new cities on the lush fields of the South East. It is far too early to start a war – and it will be a vicious and protracted war – with the green-wellied Swampies of the Home Counties.”
Mr Johnson claimed his plan would stimulate development of brownfield sites, as well as the Isle of Grain site of his proposed “Boris Island” airport, while allowing Heathrow to be replaced by housing.
He said: “At a stroke you would transform the economics of building on the brownfield sites of the Thames Gateway. You would create a 24-hour airport that would finally enable the greatest city on earth to compete properly with our rivals.
“That is where you build the garden city, with an Aerotropolis on the brownfield sites to the east. You would have regeneration in east and west; you would solve the housing crisis.”
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