Zac Goldsmith likely to quit politics, rather than stand again as Richmond MP, if May approves Heathrow runway

The Evening Standard reports that Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond Park, has said he would resign as an MP if Theresa May decides to approve a Heathrow 3rd runway. He has said for a long time that he would resign, and perhaps stand again as an independent.  Zac’s constituency is heavily over-flown by Heathrow, and with a 3rd runway, people would lose a large part of the time they currently have “respite” from the noise, due to the current runway alternation. Heathrow has admitted that people would probably only get perhaps 4 hours per day without planes, rather than about 8 hours at present.  But now Zac is understood to feel it would be wasting his constituents’ time to stand again at a by-election, and he would instead step down.  His current majority is 23,000 (with about 43,000 votes out of around 58,000). The Liberal Democrats have held the seat in the past. The departure of Zac could be a worry for Theresa May as the Conservative party’s working majority is only 16.  (The Conservatives have 329 MPs, out of 650).  They cannot comfortably afford to lose any.  Though Boris Johnson and Justine Greening are both deeply opposed to the runway, they have both said they would not resign, and give up their Cabinet positions, on the issue.
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Though Boris Johnson and Justine Greening have been forcefully opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway, neither are thought likely to feel sufficiently strongly about it to resign from their important Cabinet positions.  See below:

 

Boris Johnson says Heathrow’s 3rd runway should be ‘consigned to the dustbin’

In his first comments on the issue of Heathrow since becoming Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson has said the 3rd runway is a “fantasy” and should be “consigned to the dustbin.”  Commenting on a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Heathrow, chaired by Tania Mathias, sets out 16 serious risks that could stop or delay Heathrow expansion, Boris Johnson said: “The study exposes in glaring detail the weaknesses and omissions in the Howard Davies Airports Commission report. As I’ve advocated for many years Heathrow expansion is the wrong choice, and if it is chosen it simply won’t get built.”… “The massive costs and enormous risks mean it’s undeliverable, and the taxpayer will be saddled with the bill for failure. While we are finding this out our international competitors will be further extending their competitive advantage over us. We need to consign this Heathrow fantasy to the dustbin. We need a better solution.”  Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, and Boris are expected to campaign robustly against it. Neither Boris nor Zac believes Heathrow’s plans will never actually get built.  Zac said: “In the 21st century no developed economy is looking to fly more planes directly over its capital city. If Heathrow expansion is given the green light, it will never take off.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/09/boris-johnson-says-heathrows-3rd-runway-should-be-consigned-to-the-dustbin/

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