Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Tuesday, 11 September 2012 15:39 UK

Osborne challenged over airport expansion plans

Chancellor George Osborne has insisted that south-east England "does need additional airport capacity" but defended putting off any decision on Heathrow expansion until after the next general election.

At Treasury questions in the Commons on 11 September 2012, Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative backbencher who has threatened to stand down as an MP if a third runway at Heathrow is given the go-ahead, challenged Mr Osborne on the subject.

He said voters "need to know where the government stands".

Ministers have set up an independent commission, chaired by former Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Howard Davies, to look into the matter, but it will not publish its final report until the summer of 2015.

Mr Osborne called for cross-party consensus and said Sir Howard was the "right man to advise us all".

But Mr Goldsmith urged him to ensure that voters were able to make an informed decision on the subject at the next general election, due in May 2015.

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