8 NOVEMBER 2003, Page 42

Allowed a grouse

From Stephen Hardwick

Sir: Before Max Hastings exacts vengeance on BAA for the unfortunate temporary confiscation of his grouse at Heathrow, can we be allowed to plead for our reputation? The 'quarantine authorities' who so infuriated him would be the Port Health Authority — run by Hillingdon Council, not BAA. And the baggage handlers whom British Airways delighted in telling Sir Max are compulsive confiscators are employed by . . . British Airways. I'm afraid he's been pointing his barrels at the wrong game.

Stephen Hardwick

Public Affairs Director, British Airports Authority, London SW1