Government 'Will Keep Promise' On Heathrow

Cabinet reshuffle does not mean a U-turn, says Mary Macleod

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Local MP Mary Macleod has said that the government is committed to its promise of opposition to a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Denying claims that the cabinet reshuffle, in which Transport Minister Justine Greening was replaced, meant a change of heart on the government's position, the MP for Brentford and Isleworth said;

"I can categorically assure local residents that the Government’s commitment to opposing a third runway at Heathrow has not changed. The reshuffle does not mean a change in policy.

"The Prime Minister has made the Government’s position clear on a third runway at Heathrow, in the Conservative manifesto, in the Coalition Agreement and in speaking publically. Residents can be assured that this policy will not change," she said in a statement.

Mary added that she would be meeting with the new Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin as soon as possible to reiterate her constituents views on Heathrow expansion.

"The reshuffle was always planned for this time and it does not make any change to the Aviation consultation and call for evidence on hub capacity in the UK. 

"Patrick McLoughlin will carry on the excellent work already done by Justine Greening MP, as she takes on her new and exciting role, leading the Department for International Development, “ she added.

The local MP was interviewed on several television and radio programmes to reiterate the government's position on airport expansion.

Following the cabinet reshuffle, local groups had claimed that the government had changed its policy on opposing a third runway. Hacan, the lobby group which opposes expansion at Heathrow had predicted “fury in West London and beyond" at the decision by Prime Minister David Cameron to remove Justine Greening from her job.

Chairman John Stewart had said the changes were a bid to take aviation out of the headlines.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who favours a new airport in the Thames Estuary has also criticised the decision to appoint a commission of inquiry into airport capacity, calling it a "fudge-arama".

Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that he would seek all-party involvement in a commission to review the future provision of airport capacity in the south-east of England, which will hear representations from those arguing for a third runway at Heathrow.

But Mr Johnson urged him to go further and take the third runway off the table altogether for the period beyond the 2015 election, warning he would lead a campaign against the proposal if it was revived.

The London Mayor said he feared there was a "stealthy U-turn" under way, backed by Chancellor George Osborne, and described Mr Cameron's proposed consultation process as "just a fudge-arama and just an excuse for delay".

"If such a commission were not to report until after the next election we'd have lost a huge amount of time," said the Mayor. "I don't think British business would be remotely satisfied with that answer."

September 6, 2012

September 7, 2012