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.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

As a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing trying your best to scrape through to next week, that is NOT what you want to hear.

Read more

Provided of course, you exercise some careful creativity.

Read more

The Roar singer is known for her off-the-wall fashion sense.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

The family to which Ebola belongs could be as old as 23 million years.

The gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars has dished out its annual awards.

Potential female candidates are already being prepared for the upcoming diocese vacancies in Southwell, Nottingham, Gloucester and Oxford.

Watch the moment the Shadow Chancellor got interrupted by a daring arachnid.

Quirky London