In Brief

UK needs third Heathrow runway, MPs tell May

Politicians from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland urge PM to expand airport, but Cabinet is less keen

A group of 50 MPs from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have urged Theresa May to allow the expansion of Heathrow Airport, despite considerable opposition from members of the Cabinet.

Among the signatories on a letter calling for a third runway to be built at the UK's biggest airport are former Tory cabinet minister Stephen Crabb, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds and Labour's Stephen Kinnock.

"Although Heathrow is in London, it is the UK's hub airport," they say. "Other countries are investing in and supporting their hub, or looking on enviously as they hub through other countries.

"Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have our own successful and growing airports. But Heathrow is our gateway to the world, bringing tourists to our attractions and helping our exporters reach new markets.

"Whether we are connected by road, rail or air, we know that connections to Heathrow are a key driver of investment decisions. Expanding Heathrow will create nearly four times more jobs in our three nations than other options being considered."

According to the BBC, the Prime Minister could make a decision in the next few days. She is thought to be opposed to a compromise solution of building new runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick.

Yesterday, the Sunday Telegraph reported May's "own ministers" have warned her backing Heathrow expansion would be a "huge mistake".Senior MPs are said to have told her that any attempt to allow a new runway would run up against determined opposition, including legal challenges that could extend the process for "decades".

A ministerial source said: "If they plump for Heathrow it will be chaos. The whole project would be bogged down in legal challenges for decades. What they have to understand is that Heathrow simply will not happen."

Cabinet ministers including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Justine Greening are opposed to a third runway at Heathrow, adds the paper.

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