Possible resignation of Zac Goldsmith as Richmond MP over Heathrow threatens May’s slender majority
Theresa May’s slender Commons majority risks being cut even further if she backs a third runway at Heathrow, because Zac Goldsmith may resign the Tory whip and fight a by-election as an independent in his Richmond Park seat. Zac has said in the past that he might resign if the government favoured a Heathrow runway, as the airport has highly negative noise impacts on his constituency. Zac has a majority of more than 23,000, but he voted for Leave in the EU Referendum. His popularity could be reduced by a Brexit backlash or if the Tory vote splits. While Zac’s views on Heathrow expansion are in tune with many voters in his seat, almost 70% of people who voted in Richmond upon Thames on June 23 backed Remain. The Lib-Dems – who held the seat before Zac – said they would put Brexit at the centre of any by-election contest in the constituency. Brexit and Heathrow are two of the most important issues in Richmond. Mr Goldsmith is understood not to have made up his mind yet whether to stand as the Tory contender, an independent or quit Parliament. Mrs May has a Commons majority of twelve.
Tory candidate for London Mayor Zac Goldsmith will vote to leave EU
21 February 2016
Zac Goldsmith is standing as Tory candidate for London mayor after Boris Johnson steps down. The Conservative candidate for London Mayor, Zac Goldsmith, will vote to leave the European Union, his team has confirmed.
Mr Goldsmith’s opposition candidates, Labour’s Sadiq Khan and the Lib Dems’ Caroline Pidgeon, have both said they will campaign to stay in the EU.
Current London Mayor Boris Johnson has also said he will campaign to leave.
London Labour has responded to Zac Goldsmith by tweeting: “No serious candidate for Mayor of London would put the prosperity of our city at risk by voting to leave the EU”.
Mr Goldsmith, the MP for Richmond Park and north Kingston, has yet to release a statement as to why he has taken this decision.