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Government committed to making a decision 'soon' on airport expansion

Published 17/10/2016

A decision on airport expansion is to be made this month
A decision on airport expansion is to be made this month

Downing Street has insisted the Government remains committed to taking a decision on the expansion of Heathrow Airport amid reports of continued wrangling among ministers.

Number 10 refused to be drawn on reports that Theresa May had ordered a "short pause" to give ministers a chance to air their views before a final decision is taken on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick.

However the Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said the Mrs May was determined to get the decision "right" so that future generations would get the full benefits of airport expansion.

The BBC reported the Cabinet will discuss the issue when it meets on Tuesday but the final decision would be left to the Economic Affairs (Transport) sub-committee, chaired by Mrs May, at a meeting later this month.

The Prime Minister's spokeswoman said: "We have been clear that the Government will make a decision on that soon.

"The Government is very clear on the importance of making a decision - the need to address the problems around airport capacity and the huge economic opportunities of airport expansion.

"Clearly it is an important decision to get right so that future generations can benefit."

The issue has split the Cabinet with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Justine Greening opposed to a new runway at Heathrow - widely seen as the most likely outcome.

A decision was repeatedly delayed by Mrs May's predecessor David Cameron and Tories may be offered a free vote, or opponents given a leave of absence from the Commons when the issue comes up.

Press Association

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