Leaked document reveals plan for free vote
A security breach has led to a Cabinet Office document, which looks at the possibility of a free vote in Parliament on expanding airport capacity in the South East, ending up on Channel 4 News.
A very senior civil servant travelling on a London tube train was apparently reading the document when a fellow passenger filmed the paper and sent it to Channel 4.
The contents indicate that Theresa May is wondering how to waive collective responsibility ahead of the forthcoming decision around airport capacity.
Most decisions taken at cabinet level are subject to the principle of collective agreement, where ministers are expected to publicly support government policy, even if they disagree with it in public.
The document discusses the possibility of allowing ministers to speak against the government’s position in the House, as they did in the EU referendum campaign.
This Prime Minister, like the last, made it clear in the past that she opposed further expansion at Heathrow. She has good reason to remain opposed, as the arguments against it are even stronger this time round.