Tory MP Zac Goldsmith calls for referendum over Heathrow expansion

17:46 19 September 2012

The Liberal Democrats discussed aviation policy at their party conference today. File picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Liberal Democrats discussed aviation policy at their party conference today. File picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Conservative MP has called for London boroughs to hold referendum-style votes on the expansion of Heathrow airport.

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, made the comments after Richmond council leader, Lord True, announced a ballot to give residents in the borough a chance to say yes or no to a third runway.

Some Conservative MPs are calling on the government to drop its manifesto promise not to expand Heathrow, but Mr Goldsmith has threatened to resign and trigger a by-election if ministers perform a u-turn.

Mr Goldsmith told London24: “I absolutely support Richmond’s decision, and very much hope this extends far beyond Richmond borough.

“The referendum will establish a crucial link between Heathrow expansion and voting, and with a good turnout and result, the Government will be left in no doubt about the significance of Heathrow to west London voters.”

The government has renewed its promise to oppose expansion at the west London airport, but only until the next election in 2015, leaving residents living under its flight path in limbo until then.

Last week Mr Goldsmith asked the Chancellor George Osborne why the government’s policy was to “do nothing” for three years, adding: “Voters need to know where the Government stand before they vote.”

Earlier this month a commission was set up to look at the urgent need for more airport capacity. The body, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is not expected to report until after the next election.

Lord True earlier this week “declared war” on any expansion at Heathrow airport. He said: “I deeply regret that the nightmare vision of Heathrow expansion that had been so wisely laid to rest by our coalition government has been resurrected.

“This time we must kill it off for good.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, July 3, 2015
Police want to talk to this man about the incident in Liverpool Street

A 12-year-old girl is ‘traumatised’ after being sexually assaulted by a drunk pervert at Liverpool Street station last night.

Friday, July 3, 2015
Azelle Rodney was shot dead 10 years ago (Photo: PA Wire)

A Met marksman who who blasted suspected armed robber Azelle Rodney six times at close range 10 years ago has been cleared of his murder.

Friday, July 3, 2015
Back to school time (Picture: The Art of Dining)

Claptonwill call the register and tick off a school dinners themed pop-up restaurant offering posh grub, homework and a milk monitor to east Londoners

Friday, July 3, 2015
Ruby the pygmy goat (Picture: RSPCA)

An adorable pygmy goat has been found roaming through St. Helier park, Carshalton and the RSPCA are now appealing for help to trace her owner.

Friday, July 3, 2015
Who could resist this sweet little guy? (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Of course you do! The UK may have been hit by a heatwave but it’s raining cats and mogs at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home - who have seen a 30 per cent increase in unwanted kittens on this time last year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more