Letter: Let Lord King keep his crown

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is obviously unfashionable to be seen to be defending BA's Lord King after the events of the past week or so and your newspaper's city editor, Clare Dobie, is certainly not alone in calling for his resignation ('King's troubles far from over', 19 January).

Whether or not Lord King was aware of the 'dirty tricks' campaign against Virgin none of us outside the company can know, and, of course, the chairman of any large company is, and should be, held responsible when things go wrong.

What I do know, however, after nine years as Labour's aviation spokesman, is that Lord King is both respected and admired by many people in the aviation world and especially by many of the BA staff of all grades that I met over that period.

It would be both shortsighted and damaging to British aviation interests if in the aftermath of these events, decisions were taken which damaged this country's competitiveness in what is an extremely difficult business. Calls to strip BA of many of its slots at Heathrow and to sack the company's chairman and chief executive would, I imagine, be widely supported by many of the airline's rivals throughout the world, if not for the same reasons as those advanced by commentators and rival operators in the UK.

Yours sincerely,

PETER SNAPE

MP for West Bromwich East

(Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

20 January

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