Travel News|

MP calls Heathrow a third world slum

A Labour backbencher has called London’s Heathrow airport a ‘third world slum’.

The comments came from Rotherham MP Denis MacShane, a former European minister, who said that if the UK wanted to welcome tourists that the airport needed to be refurbished immediately. He added that tourists had an easier time getting into North Korea and Pakistan than into the UK via Heathrow due to its ‘surly’ and ‘disagreeable’ officials.

MacShane also cited the airport’s facilities, referring to the structure as having ‘horrible collectivist architecture’ from the 1970s. He then asked simply if the main gateway to Britain could be ‘brightened up’.

Tory MP for Chelsea and Fulham, Greg Hands, agreed with Mr MacShane and said that immigration waiting times for nationals of non-EU countries were ‘depressing’. He said that the process should be made easier for visitors that do not require visas such as those from the United States, New Zealand and Canada.

Tourism Minister John Penrose said in response that he agreed that entry points needed to be changed to be more welcoming both for Britons returning home as well as for arriving tourists. He also said that plans are already in place to refurbish several UK entry ports.



  • Share this post:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
In the Press
  • The Sunday Post Martin Lewis of Early booking using comparison sites including can slash up to 70%
  • The Daily Mail For the best deals, use price comparison websites such as
  • The Daily Telegraph Check out car hire comparison sites such as to see the prices on offer at dozens of car hire companies.

Cookies on

Copyright 2003 ASAP Ventures Ltd

All rights reserved

Registered in England and Wales

Company number 4278063

Registered office address

1 The Square, Lightwater, Surrey, GU18 5SS