Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:37 UK

Greening rules out Heathrow expansion

Transport Secretary Justine Greening has insisted that the coalition will be "sticking to" its policy of opposition to a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport.

Ms Greening was responding to Conservative MP Angie Bray during transport questions in the Commons on 28 June 2012, who asked what recent assessment ministers had made of airport capacity in the south-east of England.

The transport secretary told MPs that the government's UK aviation forecast of 2011 provided an assessment of future airport demand and ministers would be taking evidence on how that demand could be met.

But she added: "Let's be clear. The coalition agreement stands. This government cancelled the last government's plans for a third runway and we'll be sticking to that."

Ms Bray, who represents a west London constituency, welcomed Ms Greening's comments and said: "Talk of expanding Heathrow into some kind of competitive international hub is wildly misplaced.

"A third runway would fill up almost at once - and where would a fourth runway go?"

Labour MP Graham Stringer alleged that a third runway had been ruled out as part of "a deal done between the prime minister and [mayor of London] Boris Johnson to try and secure votes in west London."

He claimed: "The whole of the UK economy is suffering because of that. I believe the prime minister wants to do a U-turn and will do a U-turn on this."

Ms Greening rejected this and called for "a much longer term debate to get some right answers".

Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert pressed her to clarify that the government would also stick to the coalition agreement to "refuse additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted".

Ms Greening stressed that "the coalition agreement in its entirety stands".

Transport questions were followed by questions to women and equalities ministers.

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