With the writ for a Richmond Park by-election being moved by the Government Chief Whip today – it’s a posh way of saying they’ll call for a by-election – Pulse Politics is giving you a rundown of what the Big Five think!
The Conservatives are officially pro Heathrow expansion, though there is rebellion on the issue. Whilst the Tory Government having recommended the airport is expanded, high profile figures such as Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening have come out against expansion. And of course, there’s Zac Goldsmith, who has resigned over the issue.
Labour are semi-split over the issue. A group of at least 60 pro-Expansion MPs are trying to force a vote of all the Parliamentarians (MPs and Peers), which could see the scales tipped in their favour. Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have previously expressed concerns on environmental grounds. The party has also had past policy in favour of Heathrow expansion.
The Liberal Democrats are anti-Heathrow Expansion. The party held the seat until the 2010 General Election, when Zac Goldsmith took the seat from Susan Kramer, now Baroness Kramer, who herself has said that she had been fighting against it for twenty years.
Within minutes of the decision being announced, the party had notified the police of their intent to protest outside of Downing Street, which they did with success. They will be fielding an anti-Heathrow Expansion candidate in the Richmond Park by-election.
The Greens, predictably, are opposed to airport expansion anywhere in the United Kingdom. It’s been their policy since at least 2015, and are yet another party to fight Richmond Park on an anti-expansion platform. Keith Taylor MEP said:
“The Prime Minister can ratify the Paris [Climate Change] Agreement and uphold our climate commitments under the accord, as promised, or sanction airport expansion. She cannot do both. No new runways is the right and only choice for Britain and the planet.”
UKIP have the arguably most interesting stance. They oppose it, but as Jill Seymour MEP so eloquently put it:
“No, UKIP doesn’t support Heathrow, but like a Remain supporter after the referendum, we accept the decision and demand that the Government get on with it.”
Which party do you most agree with? Leave a comment below or let us know @PulseMediaUCLan!