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Boris refuses to rule out fighting by-election over Heathrow

5 September 2012

2:44 PM

5 September 2012

2:44 PM

As James remarked earlier, the Cameron vs Boris subtext of the row over expanding Heathrow is going to run and run. Boris managed to fulfil that prediction almost immediately by announcing on the World at One that he will lead a campaign against a third runway. ‘You bet, you bet I will, yes,’ he said.

As well as using a new Borisism, ‘fudgerama’, to describe the way the Prime Minister was handling the issue, Boris did not rule out the possibility that he might resign to trigger a by-election if the government U-turned. Shaun Ley asked:

‘If the opportunity arose, would you be prepared to fight a parliamentary by-election on that?’

Boris replied, rather hesitantly:

‘My job is to follow the interests of the people of London. I was elected on a very clear mandate to oppose the third runway at Heathrow, expansion of Heathrow, that indeed is the mandate on which this government was elected, and that’s what I’d like to see and do.’

While Boris would relish fighting a campaign against Cameron, it might be even better for him if the government did plump for a third runway. At least it would give Boris the opportunity to leave his post as Mayor on a point of principle and make his move towards Parliament before 2015. Perhaps Heathrow could be the making of him.

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