Sir Richard Branson says that London’s status as a global financial centre will be threatened unless the Government approves the construction of a third runway at Heathrow. Sunday Telegraph

Branson will call on the three main London mayoral candidates to drop their opposition to a new runway, saying expansion at the airport is crucial if the City is to retain its position as Europe’s pre-eminent financial centre.

In its submission to the Government, Virgin Atlantic will raise a Doomsday scenario of thousands of job losses if a third runway is blocked.

Branson’s comments come ahead of the deadline for submissions on the Heathrow issue to the Government on Wednesday. He joins an unlikely alliance of Richard Lambert, director-general of the business lobbying group the CBI, and Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, in calling for expansion to be given the green light. They claim it could generate around £10bn for the UK economy.