Year-long full public consultation awaits

A final decision on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick will not happen until the winter of 2017-18, according to the BBC.

A cabinet sub-committee chaired by Theresa May will announce a decision on airport expansion next week. But this will then go to a year-long full public consultation.

Ministers opposed to either of the airport’s plans would be given “an exceptional and limited arrangement” to make their cases, but would have to get May’s permission first. However, they would not be allowed to criticise the government in the House of Commons or “actively campaign” against the government.

Ministers opposed to Heathrow expansion include foreign secretary Boris Johnson and education secretary Justine Greening.

Backbencher and former Tory candidate for London mayor, Zac Goldsmith, is reported to also be considering triggering a by-election in which he would run as an independent.