LibDem Leader Tim Farron says voting Tory “sends relaxed message over 3rd Heathrow runway”

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called on Londoners not to give the Tories a free pass to build a 3rd Heathrow runway.  Mr Farron claimed that a vote for the Conservatives in the general election would send a “relaxed message” about the most significant construction project in the capital since the Second World War. “If the Conservatives win in south-west London that would be taken as a message from local people they were happy and content with where we were with Heathrow,” he said.  Reaffirming his party’s position as anti-Heathrow expansion, Mr Farron said his MPs would block every vote on the issue in the Commons.  Pressed on how he would solve the shortage of runway capacity for the anticipated rise in air passengers, he said was about providing alternatives and making use of the other runway capacity around the country, especially in places like the Midlands. Meanwhile it is expected that the Conservative manifesto will again (as in 2015) avoid any mention of the runway issue, in order not to cause problems for local MPs like Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson and Justine Greening (not to mention Theresa May herself, in Maidenhead) getting re-elected, despite their difficult positions of not standing up for their constituents on this matter.
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Voting Tory ‘sends relaxed message over third Heathrow runway’

By KATE PROCTOR  (Standard)
2.5.2017

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron today called on Londoners not to give the Tories a free pass to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Mr Farron claimed that a vote for the Conservatives in the general election would send a “relaxed message” about the most significant construction project in the capital since the Second World War. “If the Conservatives win in south-west London that would be taken as a message from local people they were happy and content with where we were with Heathrow,” he said.

The Government announced in October that Heathrow had been chosen as the location for a new runway. The decision is still to go before Parliament.

Reaffirming his party’s position as anti-Heathrow expansion, Mr Farron said his MPs would block every vote on the issue in the Commons.

Pressed on how he would solve the shortage of runway capacity for the anticipated rise in air passengers, he said “it’s about providing alternatives”.

He added: “There is value in additional capacity in this country — that capacity could easily be delivered elsewhere in places like the Midlands.”  [He may be unaware that there is a lot of spare capacity at Birmingham, and a whole spare runway at Manchester …. bearing in mind that a one runway airport can deal with at least 35 million passengers, and a two runway airport can deal with 70 million passengers. Birmingham currently had about 11.6 million pax in 2016 and Manchester about 25.6 million.  AW note]

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/voting-tory-sends-relaxed-message-over-third-heathrow-runway-a3528246.html

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See also

Tory manifesto to avoid mention of Heathrow 3rd runway to help critics (like Boris and Hammond) get re-elected

The Telegraph has learned that the Conservative election manifesto will avoid mentioning the Heathrow proposed 3rd runway, in order to save the party political problems. A Conservative spokesman told the Telegraph there is “no need” to cite the project despite it not yet being voted through “because it was announced last year.””A more veiled reference to airport expansion is now expected to be included instead.” Leaving it out of the manifesto means MPs such as Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, Justine Greening and even the PM herself (with a constituency badly affected by Heathrow) are saved awkwardness. They hope to be able to avoid the issue, even though it one of the most expensive and controversial infrastructure projects proposed in then next few years. The issue was also not mentioned in the 2015 election when, again, it risked losing voters in seats affected by the airport – especially marginals. A decision as large as Heathrow would be expected to be in an election manifesto, as it has implications for so many people. That is especially the case as the draft NPS on Heathrow must be voted for in Parliament. Tania Mathias continues to battle against the runway plans, as does Zac Goldsmith, now to be the Conservative candidate at Richmond Park. Both are contesting seats with others, equally opposed to the runway – Vince Cable and Sarah Olney.

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