Anti-Heathrow MPs plan to thwart government over third runway

The British government will make a long-awaited decision next week on plans to boost London's airport capacity, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday (Oct 18), with growing speculation that it will back expansion at Heathrow. May will also allow ministers to make known their objections to the decision.

She said: "We were delighted to host the Scottish Government's announcement of its support for Heathrow's third runway".

Conservative ministers opposed to Heathrow expansion, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Justine Greening, will be allowed to express "personal views" over the issue for a limited time.

Zac Goldsmith, who lost the London mayoral election...

The vote is not expected for another year.

The issue is to be discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday morning, but Number 10 now accepts the decision will be made "soon" rather than definitely by the end of the month.

While the threat of more flights and more noise at Heathrow has united west London MPs in opposition, there is similar resistance south of the capital to a second runway for Gatwick.

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Members of the Unite union were today due to deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street signed by more than 125 reps, representing hundreds of thousands of workers, calling on the PM to approve Heathrow's expansion.

Both Heathrow, owned by Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial, Qatar Holding, China Investment Corp plus others, and Gatwick, owned by investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and others, say that airport expansion can be funded without government money.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, he said: "There is no doubt that despite huge gains against the Liberal Democrats in west London in recent years, the Conservative Party would be badly damaged in the event that Heathrow gets a green light".

One unnamed Cabinet minister told the BBC: 'I would do both Heathrow and Gatwick - that would tell the world Britain is open for business'.

He would stand as an independent candidate after triggering a by-election in his constituency if Heathrow gets the go-ahead.

"I think right now, given how long it's taken this decision to happen in the first place, my focus would be on doing what we should do now", Grayling told the House of Commons Transport Committee.

The capacity debate has dogged United Kingdom governments for years, with David Cameron, May's predecessor, avoiding a decision first by appointing the commission and then seeking further input on the levels of noise on pollution likely to result from the competing proposals.

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