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Business Comment

Jim Armitage: A chance for Boris Island to go bang once and for all

Outlook Say what you like about Boris Johnson, his survival skills in the political jungle make fellow Old Etonian Bear Grylls look a wimp.

Which is why his dogged attachment to the vainglorious, eccentric bauble of Boris Island seems so peculiar. Barely anybody in the world thinks it's a good idea. Even that other multi-billion transport project, HS2, has some supporters. To construct an entirely new landmass, with built-from-scratch transport infrastructure linking it to the rest of the country is, to use a Boris word, potty – particularly when Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted are already there, and especially at a cost of £60bn.

Boris, an intelligent chap for all that bumbling exterior, must be aware of this. He's just too proud to lose face. But now, Centrica has done him a favour with its deal to fill the neighbouring Isle of Grain with millions of tonnes of high explosives – a big, flashing bull's-eye for terrorists. Not a good idea next to an airport. While crying 'elf and safety may go against the Johnson grain, he should seize this dignified excuse and withdraw from battle.