Zak Goldsmith has quit as Richmond Park and North Kingston MP and promised to stand as an independent candidate, as many MPs threaten to rebel and Boris Johnson says that Heathrow expansion is undeliverable. Adding a third runway to what is already the noisiest airport in Europe by a huge margin will mean 300, 000 extra flights and huge impact on the west side of London in particular. This story looks set to dominate the news agenda over the next year at least
"I promised my constituents that if my Party gave a green light to Heathrow expansion, I would resign and give them a chance to vote again. Today that has happened and so I have resigned as your MP and will be standing as an Independent candidate in the upcoming by-election. This gives us a chance to send a powerful message via the ballot box. Please join my campaign so that we can fight and stop Heathrow expansion together. Please email email@example.com to get involved."
Political commentator Robert Peston gave this view via his Facebook page "
Zac Goldsmith wants the Richmond Park by-election to be "a referendum" on whether Theresa May is right to have authorised the building of a third runway at Heathrow. But that is a bit of a joke. Because - as he surely knew - the only credible challenger candidate will be the LibDem candidate, and LibDem policy is to oppose all airport expansion in the South East. So the by-election will much more likely be a mini referendum on whether the country was right to choose Brexit, because Goldsmith was and is a Brexiteer and the LibDems are in deep mourning for our lost EU membership."
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who has campaigned steadily against the runway for decades as a West London constituency MP gave this response "“I’ve campaigned against this runway for over 30 years and in that time Heathrow have never managed to win the argument for expansion which still remains the case today.
“Nothing has changed. Building a third runway would be devastating for local residents who face losing their homes, schools, community centre and village life. It also remains a disaster for air pollution, noise levels and our efforts to tackle climate change.
“4000 homes face the prospect of either being demolished or rendered unliveable by air pollution and noise. This means 8 to 10 thousand people being forcibly removed from their homes. We have not seen anything on this scale in our country’s history.
“I’ll continue to support my constituents in campaigning against this runway so that it never sees the light of day.”