Excluding Heathrow commitment in Tory manifesto won't fool anyone, Lib Dems warn

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The Liberal Democrats have warned Theresa May she “won’t fool anyone” if plans for a third runway at Heathrow are absent from the Tory manifesto.

Sarah Olney, whose south-west London seat lies beneath the airport’s flight path, responded to reports that an election pledge has been resisted by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and other Conservative critics.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, Tory MPs have threatened to reject the party’s manifesto if it promises to expand the major hub.

The Conservatives pledged not to build a third runway during the 2010 General Election campaign, however the Prime Minister has now backed the project.

A Tory spokesman told the newspaper that Mrs May’s announcement in October means there is “no need” to include it in the manifesto.

Ms Olney said: “Despite their earlier promises, the Conservatives are dead set on building a third runway at Heathrow.

“That would be disastrous for the environment; won’t deliver the economic benefits the Government claim; and will be a blight on the lives of residents across south-west London.

“Failing to mention their commitment to expanding Heathrow in their manifesto won’t fool anyone.”It’s clear that Conservative candidates in this election are standing on a platform of building a third runway at Heathrow.”

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney 

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney 

Credit:
Andrew Matthews/PA wire

The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed Heathrow expansion, plans for which are currently under consultation.

Ms Olney unseated Zac Goldsmith as Richmond Park MP in December after he triggered a by-election by quitting the Conservative party in protest at its support for a third runway.

Mr Goldsmith was recently selected by the Tory party to stand in the seat again, although he will continue to oppose the plans.