Cameron sidelines opponents of Heathrow

Cameron chairs runway sub-Committee, no London MPs or ministers who oppose 3rd runway.

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, is preparing the ground for his expected U-turn on Heathrow expansion.

He has set up a committee to look at the report of the Airports Commission that backed a third runway at Heathrow (if it meets multiple conditions).

Cameron will chair the committee and has packed it with pro-Heathrow ministers.

No London Tory MP is on the committee and no one against Heathrow is on it.

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron (Conservative Party) told Richmond residents there would be no third runway at Heathrow. He said the words “no ifs, no buts, no third runway” at a meeting in Richmond on 21 October 2009 when he was leader of the opposition and desperate to win the seat in Richmond as an essential part of his bid to get the top job.

He then started his betrayal of that promise once he was elected and set up the Airports Commission.

It is widely believed that the commission was expected to report that the option for the whole of the UK is a third runway at Heathrow.

George Osborne, the UK Finance Minister, is seen to be the driver behind this.

Opponents to Heathrow expansion include:
  • Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London
  • Theresa May, Home Secretary
  • Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary
  • Justine Greening, International Development Secretary
  • Theresa Villiers, Northern Ireland Secretary
  • Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and expected Tory candidate for Mayor of London

All have a ministerial or other serious interest in Britain’s global air links but have been excluded from the Cabinet committee which will make a decision on expanding Heathrow, Gatwick or another site.

The committee will include vocal supporters of a 3rd Heathrow runway including
  • Chancellor George Osborne
  • Business Secretary Sajid Javid

Also on the Committee are:

  • Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
  • Environment Secretary Liz Truss
  • Scotland Secretary David Mundell
  • Communities Secretary Greg Clark
  • Energy Secretary Amber Rudd
  • Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin
  • Chief Whip Mark Harper

The make up of the Committee is seen as indicating that David Cameron is ready to over-rule concerns from ministers who oppose the runway, and suggests the final decision will not be made by the Cabinet as a whole.

There is potential for all out Tory warfare on the issue although Boris Johnson has backtracked a bit from his protestations in recent weeks.

Internet links

David Cameron in Richmond saying no-ifs-no-buts no third runway