Statement from Stop Heathrow Expansion and HACAN

Press Statement from Stop Heathrow Expansion and HACAN

9 September 2016

Channel 4 News carried a story of a Cabinet Office memo seen on the tube which reveals that the Government is considering free vote in Parliament following an announcement on the runway decision.  It wasn’t entirely clear if this would happen if the decision was for Gatwick, but it was clear it would happen if it was for Heathrow.  It would allow cabinet ministers like Boris Johnson and Justine Greening to vote against a third runway.


The Cabinet Office document was addressed from one cabinet official to another.  The document did not confirm if a free vote would be granted; rather it focused more on how it might work as an option. It is not entirely a surprise as it was thought David Cameron might have been planning something similar but it does indicate that a free vote following the decision is entirely possible.


John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which gives a voice to residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said: “It is unprecedented for a free vote to be granted on anything other than a constitutional issue or a matter of conscience.  The fact that the Government is considering one on a third runway reveals once again the strength of the opposition within the Cabinet.”


Robert Barnstone, Campaign Co-Ordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, which represents residents around Heathrow Airport said:

“This memo shows that the Government is preparing to make this unprecedented move, which only highlights the clear divisions within the Government on this issue: a third runway at Heathrow is politically toxic and financially unviable.”



For more information: 

Robert Barnstone 07806 947050

John Stewart 07957 385650