Labour Research January 2016


Delay on airports decision slammed

The government’s decision to delay its verdict on expanding London’s airports until at least the summer has been slammed by unions. 

Prime minister David Cameron had “guaranteed” a decision by Christmas 2015. But In a statement that mentions neither Heathrow nor Gatwick, the government said the final location of a new runway depended on further consideration of environmental impacts.

However, Cameron has been widely accused of reneging so that the issue is not pivotal to May’s London mayoral elections. 

Tory London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, a fierce opponent of Heathrow expansion, had threatened to quit as MP for Richmond if Heathrow got the go-ahead for a third runway. 

GMB national officer Mick Rix said: “So much for David Cameron’s pledge to deliver the much-needed infrastructure projects.

“While this decision has been dressed up as giving time for consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures, the reality is that he has run away from the political threats from Zac Goldsmith.”

The union points out that 76,000 people are employed directly at Heathrow, with another 38,000 local jobs relying on the airport. And it warns that without a third runway the airport will quickly fall into decline.