Coffee House

Make your mind up, Tory MPs tell Cameron

15 February 2013

4:35 PM

15 February 2013

4:35 PM

At the moment, the Tories intend to head into the next election with the worst of all airport policies. They won’t have announced where the much-needed extra runway capacity in the south east will be. But neither will they be ruling out extra runways at various existing airports or an entirely new airport. The risk for the Tories is that voters under the Heathrow flight path assume that they are going to build a third runway there. Meanwhile those close to Stansted fear that it is going to be turned into a four-runway airport.

Seventeen Tory MPs in the south east have now written to David Cameron protesting about the policy not to have a policy. The Evening Standard reports that these MPs, which includes opponents of Heathrow expansion such as  Zac Goldsmith and proponents of it such as Tim Yeo, have told the PM that the current uncertainty is a ‘severe handicap on Conservative candidates’ in the potentially affected areas.

I suspect that the Tory leadership will be forced to make its mind up before the next election on what it wants to do on airports; if it doesn’t, it’ll have all the pain and none of the gain. They’ll be helped in this by the fact that the Davies Commission is expected to set out its favoured options in the near future.

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Show comments
  • Radford_NG

    We need an integrated long-term policy for national air and rail:including a FHS
    (fairly high speed) rail from Glasgow via Gretna/Carlisle to Leeds and on via Sheffield/Toton/Leicester to St. Pancras and on to Paris.This makes more sense then an arc from Euston through the Cotswolds and Birmingham to Leeds only,via Toton.

  • HooksLaw

    The extra runway capacity is not ‘much needed’.
    What is needed is a proper considered opinion about looking at the future airport development of the UK for the next 100 years.

    Piddling around with a runway at Heathrow will hardly help that.

  • Tony Quintus

    Boris island is a non starter, so the only sane policy is to add a 3rd runway to heathrow AND upgrade Gatwick’s 2nd runway to full time AND add a 2nd runway at Stanstead.
    We don’t need to be constantly banging against capacity limits and having to react to them, we need to beuild in excess capacity now.

  • Davey122

    We do not need any more runways to handle the indigenous population so they can use Schiphol, Paris or Frankfurt.

  • Mike Barnes

    How blessed we are to have this modern Tory party ruling in the ‘national interest’!

    5 years of sitting on their hands and saying nothing, hoping they won’t offend anybody and will be re-elected!

    • HooksLaw

      Its a coalition.

  • Russell

    And the Elephant in the room who you haven’t even mentioned……Miliband and Labour! What are they going to support or have as a policy?

  • Archimedes

    My, my…Tim Yeo on the pragmatic side of an argument? Whatever next? The times, they are a changing…

  • In2minds

    ” proponents of it such as Tim Yeo” – Is he going to make money out of it?

  • George_Arseborne

    Never mind, the Tories will make up their mines first hand after 2015 election, as HM Opposition , not as ruling Party. They will fight amongst themselves for decades.