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Heathrow Airport expansion: Cameron under pressure to ditch Greening

Written on:August 29, 2023
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Will he allow Heathrow Airport expansion?

Prime Minister David Cameron is under tremendous pressure from senior Conservatives to move Transport Secretary Justine Greening, who opposes the proposed expansion of a third runway at Heathrow Airport in a cabinet reshuffle that is expected to take place on Monday.

An all-party committee of MPs said in a report that “capacity constraints at Heathrow are restricting the UK’s economic potential” and that the country is “being left behind.” the Aviation Group in Parliament said there was a need for immediate expansion suggesting an increase in capacity at the airport or to build a new hub at the airport.

Greening, who campaigned strongly against Heathrow expansion in her Putney constituency at the 2010 election, insisted that Cameron would stick to his pledge to oppose a third runway.

The Transport Secretary, however, admitted it would be “difficult” for her to stay in the Cabinet if the Prime Minister changes his stance, and appeared to go beyond the Coalition’s policy by suggesting the case against the proposed expansion had been scraped for good.

Despite Greening’s confident stance, there are rumours in Tory circles that she will be transferred to another post next week, which would allow the President to go ahead with the Heathrow expansion after the next election in 2015.

Cameron’s hands are tied up and any action cannot be expected before the elections as the Liberal Democrat Coalition partners oppose the move. George Osborne, the Chancellor, is among the ministers urging Cameron to rethink his decision on Heathrow.

Cameron wants more progressive growth measures but he is apprehensive about making yet another policy reversal that might make him look weak.

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