Commenting on the proposal from Tees Valley Mayor to buy Durham Tees Valley Airport at a cost of £40million, Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North said:
“The Mayor has made repeated statements saying his deal to buy the loss making airport won’t cost council taxpayers a penny – yet he is prepared to use the cash, hard won by our Combined Authority even before he was elected, to fund it. Whatever way you look at it – that is taxpayers’ money.
“There is no doubt that there will need to be an independent examination of the business case and financial figures of his proposal – and I for one will be seeking a long term, cast iron guarantee from the Mayor and any partner he is working with, that taxpayers won’t be saddled with both the bill and with shoring up an airport which has been losing around £2million a year.
“Perhaps it is time he accepted that just as the NHS isn’t going to get £350millon extra every week if and when we leave the EU, he can’t buy the airport without diverting tens of millions of pounds of public money – public money that is designated to create and support jobs throughout the Tees Valley.
“Instead he should work with the Combined Authority to develop and support other ways in which more airlines can be encouraged to provide services from Durham Tees Valley.”