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Sir Roger Gale MP Nominated for Grassroot Diplomat Award for Manston Airport Campaign - 29th February 2016

London, UK Ė April 20, 2016 Ė Sir Roger Gale MP for North Thanet has been shortlisted from over 100 politicians this year for the 4th Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. A long-serving MP, Sir Roger Gale has been nominated for his tireless work in supporting the local peoplesí wishes to save Manston Airport.

Manston Airport has a long and proud history stretching back 100 years, having played a major role in World War One and Two, as well as being the training ground for the Royal Air Force. The airport is considered a national asset by grassroots advocates, who have campaigned to keeping the airport open and ensure its survivability.

As part of an ongoing battle between local authorities and private owners, Sir Roger pushed to have Manston Airport re-opened after securing ministerial involvement and giving evidence at a select committee inquiry. He was supported by 9,200 members of the grassroots organisation ĎSave Manston Airport Associationí amongst others to return Manston Airport to active aviation use.

A petition was presented to 10 Downing Street by Sir Roger and Laura Sandys MP, along with TG Aviation, and the Save Manston Airport group. Sir Rogerís constituents are made aware of his campaigns as soon as he has thoroughly researched the issue and had received 26,524 signatures in support of re-opening Manston as a working airport.

The airport became used for commercial purposes following the departure of the RAF and has since had a number of owners and operators. Most recently Manston, under the New Zealand ownership of Infratil, secured Lufthansa as a provider. Unfortunately, the airport was forced to close by a new owner who signified it as a commercial failure. However, Sir Roger has continued to promote the airport as an economically sustainable project that could accommodate large freight aircraft to ease off pressure on Gatwick and Heathrow, and has spoken with overseas and UK investors who wish to grow the airport to offer freight, charter, general aviation, package holidays and low-cost passenger services in the future. The campaign is ongoing.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: ďAll too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals in positions of power, who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others like them to follow suit. Grassroot Diplomat winners go beyond their job descriptions and those shortlisted for the award should be proud to be recognised this far.Ē

The campaign continues to be a working progress with a possible deal to be made in 2016.

Further details about the awards can be found on: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/annual-awards

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