Tory MPs say Heathrow runway ‘not going to happen’ following hung parliament
Date added: June 17, 2017
Conservative MPs have warned that a manifesto pledge to expand Heathrow will not go ahead, following Theresa May’s failure to secure a majority in the election. As many as 40 of the Prime Minister’s own MPs are against the building of a 3rd runway. Labour are divided on the issue and their election manifesto only committed the party to expand Britain’s airport capacity, with four conditions; the proposed Heathrow runway cannot meet those conditions. Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond – re-elected in June – tweeted: ” Heathrow expansion… not going to happen.” He told The Sun: “Heathrow expansion already faced huge obstacles, not least a very strong legal challenge by Local Authorities and appalling air pollution implications.” Both Mr Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, and Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, are ardent opponents of a Heathrow third runway. The campaign, No 3rd Runway, canvassed candidates before the election and found 31 out of London’s 73 MPs were opposed to the runway, many posing for photos endorsing their pledge to oppose it. The number of opponents would far outweigh Mrs May’s waver thin Commons majority potentially provided by the DUP.The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is opposed to it. The new Minister for London, Greg Hands, is opposed to it.
Tory MPs warn Heathrow expansion ‘not going to happen’ following hung parliament
By Laura Hughes, political correspondent (Telegraph)
16 JUNE 2017
Conservative MPs have warned that a manifesto pledge to expand Heathrow will not go ahead following Theresa May’s failure to secure a majority in the election.
As many as 40 of the Prime Minister’s own MPs are against the creation of a third runway at the international airport.
Labour are divided on the issue and their election manifesto only committed the party to expand Britain’s airport capacity.
Zac Goldmsith, the Tory MP for Richmond, Tweeted today: ” Heathrow expansion… not going to happen.”
He told The Sun: “Heathrow expansion already faced huge obstacles, not least a very strong legal challenge by Local Authorities and appalling air pollution implications.”
Both Mr Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, and Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, are ardent opponents of a Heathrow third runway.
Mrs May backed Heathrow expansion last year, completing an about-turn from the Tories who had campaigned against the third runway in the 2010 election.
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, is opposed to a third runway. The Mayor of London is also against the proposal.
There is no suggestion that the Tories are abandoning their policy of building the third runway, which is currently out to consultation.
The Tory Party manifesto stated: “We will continue our programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport – and we will ensure that these great projects do as much as possible to develop the skills and careers of British workers.”
A Government source told The Sun: “We are early on in the process, we are a long way off from a vote.”
Planned third runway at Heathrow airport thrown into doubt by post-election hung parliament
By Harry Cole, Westminster Correspondent (The Sun)
15th June 2017
THE PLANNED third runway at Heathrow has been thrown into doubt by a hung Parliament, The Sun can reveal.
Theresa May’s lack of a majority leaves her exposed to as many as 40 Tory rebels opposed to their manifesto commitment to expand the UK’s busiest airport.
Plans for an expansion to Heathrow Airport involving a third runway have been thrown into doubt by the hung-parliament.
And Labour’s own manifesto pointedly made no specific mention of Heathrow — only committing the party to a vague pledge to expand Britain’s airport capacity — leaving the opposition free to wreck the plan.
Prominent Labour figures like Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell are opposed to the new landing strip.
The number of Tories opposed to the move forced the PM to kick the issue into the long grass last October with yet another consultation — but MPs are yet to actually vote on the decision.
The lack of majority held by Theresa May’s government after the snap-election has put the plans at risk.
Members of public are currently being asked their views ahead of parliamentary scrutiny of their responses – meaning it could be up to a year before the decision reaches the division lobbies.
The Conservatives manifesto reaffirmed the support for new Heathrow runway, however Government Whips believe the plan faces a rough ride through a balanced House of Commons.
At least two Cabinet ministers — Boris Johnson and Justine Greening — are opposed to the plan and they are supported by dozens of other Conservative MPs with seats in and near London.
The number of opponents would far outweigh Mrs May’s waver thin Commons majority potentially provided by the DUP.
Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith: “Heathrow expansion already faced huge obstacles, not least a very strong legal challenge by Local Authorities and appalling air pollution implications.”
Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith claimed the expansion had already faced ‘huge obstacles such as appalling air pollution implications’
The campaigning Tory, who set up the No 3rd Runway Coalition, added “in approving it, MPs will effectively be asked to sign a blank cheque for a foreign owned monopoly.”
Last night a Government source said: “We are early on in the process, we are a long way off from a vote.”
Before the catastrophe in Kensington, I was idly mulling something that seems utterly trivial now. But – gazetted before the thought disappears – here it is: have the politics of the third runway at Heathrow have changed in the past week or so?
Here is a map showing local seats, coloured by who holds them now and in 2015. Dark colours mean safer seats. The blue dot is the airport.
This map gives you the picture of the election just gone: the blues are fainter and reds are deeper. And that matters.
The issue is simple: we know there is a lot of opposition to Heathrow expansion locally. Zac Goldsmith, now back in Richmond Park (seat 4), triggered a by-election in protest at the move.
It’s also the case that the Tories are, in a sense, less exposed to Heathrow than they were. They no longer hold Twickenham (marked with a 3) or Surbiton, the neighbouring Lib Dem seat.
But the remaining local Tories might now be a lot more jittery – and they’re rather high profile. Boris Johnson now has just a 5,000 vote margin in Uxbridge and South Ruislip (1) and Justine Greening has a third of that in Putney (2).
That matters because Labour might calculate that they can cause cabinet trouble – or cost ministers their seats – by vigorously opposing the expansion. That is not a hard sell to Labour’s leadership. John McDonnell’s seat contains the airport.
For good or ill, the political case for Labour causing trouble on runway 3 might have got a bit stronger.
Election fallout: will government plan to get 3rd Heathrow runway be hit?
June 11, 2017
The Conservatives are set to form a minority government, which could affect a range of transport issues from Heathrow expansion to road schemes even if the Conservatives remain in Government. Although Theresa May intends to continue as prime minister, with the support of the DUP, we are now entering a time of uncertainty. Anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN has done its own research on MPs, showing that 31 of the capital’s 73 MPs are known to oppose the runway. HACAN chair John Stewart said: ‘Once the views of all London’s MPs are known, it is highly likely that a majority will be opposed to Heathrow expansion. Of themselves they may not stop it but they could act as a very awkward bloc to a new runway ever seeing the light of day, particularly given the fact that the new Government doesn’t have a majority of seats in Parliament.’ Rob Barnstone, coordinator for Stop Heathrow Expansion, the group representing residents opposed to the project, claimed the failure of the Conservatives to win a majority in the Commons has created less certainty on issues including the third runway at Heathrow. He said: “The Government were relying on a large parliamentary majority, including many new and loyal backbenchers, to push through a third runway. “Now that Theresa May’s gamble has rendered her anything but a conquering hero, the future of the project looks much less certain and potentially in jeopardy.”