Labour to give MPs free rein on Heathrow expansion vote

Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald MP, however, said the project fails to meet the party’s four environmental and economic tests

The Labour Party is to give its MPs free rein when voting on the Heathrow Airport expansion plans.

The Shadow Cabinet agreed there would be no party whip when MPs are given a vote next week on the controversial proposals for a third runway despite its leadership opposing the project.

It clears the political path for the expansion as scores of Labour MPs are expected to back the UK Government’s plans

Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Transport Secretary, however, said the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) fails to meet Labour’s four environmental and economic tests.

They include the CO2 reduction commitments, minimal noise and local environmental impact, benefits of the expansion felt across the UK and increased capacity being delivered.

Mr McDonald said: “Heathrow expansion is incompatible with our environmental and climate change obligations and cannot be achieved without unacceptable impacts on local residents. The improved connectivity to the regions of the UK cannot be guaranteed and there are unanswered question on the costs to the public purse and the deliverability of the project.

“We support vital investment in our country’s transport infrastructure but every investment must be tested on whether it provides real value for money and sustainability. A third runway at Heathrow fails this test.”

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