Andrew George condemns 'bullying' Steamship Group
Scilly's former MP Andrew George has described the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group as a "bullying monopoly provider".
Andrew, who is hoping to regain his seat for the Liberal Democrats on June 8th, posted a video of himself stranded at Newquay airport today on social media.
He wrote: "Experiencing what Scillonians and visitors to the islands experience all too often. Flight delay and then cancellation. A whole day's visit aborted.
"Scillonians have a right to feel very aggrieved. The latest news that monopoly transport provider, Isles of Scilly Steamship Co, has lodged for a judicial review to stop a competitor helicopter service is all the evidence we need to show how the islands have been held hostage for years.
"Today by a bullying monopoly provider and previously by a bunch of fruit cakes (who threw away the chance of a multi-million £ investment I had secured for the ferry link because they told the Dept of Transport if they couldn't get their barmy plans through they'd run a ferry from Falmouth!)."
He added: "The Isles of Scilly deserves better. I'll stand up to the monopoly transport provider and seek common cause with calm and rational people who want to see real investment in a better transport plan for the islands."
Andrew was the MP for the St Ives constituency before losing his seat to Conservative Derek Thomas in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Labour St Ives candidate Christopher Drew described the Steamship Group's decision as "outrageous", saying: "I am incredibly disappointed in the recent news about the new Scilly Heliport planned for Penzance. The decision to take the plans to judicial review is outrageous.
"I believe Government should review the running of all transport links from the mainland to Scilly to make sure no private companies create a monopoly.I will stand up for people on Scilly and for the return of this important transport link."
A petition calling for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group to 'cease their attempts to prevent a new helicopter service from Penzance' has now reached more than 860 signatures.
Islander Sam Mallon started the petition following news that the ISSG has begun proceedings for a judicial review of the planning permission for the project.
Construction of the replacement heliport has now been paused while a judge examines the lawfulness of Cornwall Council's decision.