4 Sep 2012

McLoughlin’s ‘open mind’ on third runway

The new transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, says he has “a completely open mind” on whether Heathrow needs a third runway. ┬áJust the ticket then!

But unless the PM performs a mighty U-turn and gets the DPM to join him in that U-turn, the most we’re going to get in this parliament is a consultation that includes Heathrow as well as the other options and a new Tory policy for the 2015 manifesto. Isn’t it?

I asked a Treasury source how strongly we can rule out a go-ahead for the third runway in this parliament and got the eliptical response: “Fairly strongly but not definitively.”

Michael Gove will have no ideological issues working with Lib Dem former chief secretary David Laws as a deputy at education. He may find he has to “let go” a little more than comes naturally – a source in the department says he’s tended to run a lot of the show himself and not devolve too much.

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2 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:


    I bet you your next year’s salary the third runaway eventually gets nodded through. It will be hummed and hahhed and there will be much posturing and hypocrisy. Then hey presto! Approval!

    It has to go through, otherwise Lahndahn won’t be able to maintain its subsidised monopoly at the expense of the rest of us. Do you REALLY think the Tory cockneys and barrow boys of Canary Wharf are going to allow that?

    This is precisely the kind of project Gideon Spiv had in mind when he talked up a “relaxation” of planning regulations.

    So……you up for the bet?

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