The result of the UK General Election means that a third runway at Heathrow is now highly unlikely to happen.
The politics were always going to be the deciding factor and the election results make the politics against Heathrow overwhelming.
George Osborne, the Chancellor and number two in the Government, is believed to be the driver for Heathrow expansion. But he is pitted against a large number of Tory MPs and others from Opposition parties that will make it just about impossible to introduce a third runway.
MPs against Heathrow expansion
Tory MPs against Heathrow expansion include “big beasts” Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Justine Greening. All are or will be in very senior Government positions and are MPs in the areas affected by Heathrow noise and air pollution.
These are in addition to many other MPs in the Heathrow area opposed to a third runway, especially the MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Heathrow and the Wider Economy.
Zac has said he will stand down and fight a by-election if a Conservative Government goes for a third runway. He is a very popular local MP and even increased his majority from 4,000 to 23,015.
Other MPs in the Heathrow area who are opposed to expansion include:
- Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP for Windsor
- Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith
- Ruth Cadbury, Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth
- Rupa Huq, Labour MP for Ealing Central & Acton’s
- Tania Mathias, Conservative MP for Twickenham
The new Government quite simply will not get into an internal war over the issue.
Also the Airports Commission boss, Howard Davies, at the eleventh hour has launched a new consultation on the question of airport expansion. He is asking for new evidence relating to the air quality assessment of the 3 short-listed options for additional airport capacity.
Air quality (and noise) are the defining arguments against Heathrow expansion.
Responses have to be in by midnight on 29 May 2015.