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29 Jan 2009 05:01:02

Heathrow expansion plans survive rebellion

Heathrow expansion plans survive rebellion
Proposals for the expansion of Heathrow Airport survived a revolt by 28 Labour MPs, including two who resigned their roles in government in protest.

Plans to build a third runway at Heathrow have been strongly opposed by local residents and environmentalists who note the carbon emissions associated with aircraft.

The government majority on the vote, which was tabled by the Conservatives because the government had refused one, was cut by two thirds to 19 votes.

Following the victory for the government, Labour MP Virendra Sharma quit his government post to fight expansion plans, following MP Andrew Slaughter out of government.

Speaking outside parliament, Mr Sharma said: "I profoundly regret the need to resign, but I had no option. The government's decision to expand Heathrow will seriously affect many of my constituents and my first priority is to represent them."

More than 50 Labour MPs had expressed doubts over the expansion but only 28 rebelled, despite the Conservatives submitting a verbatim copy of an early day motion tabled by Labour MP John Grogan.

The Climate Change act passed last year included the stipulation that carbon dioxide emissions from aeroplanes be taken into account when calculation national emissions.

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