SNP '˜might refuse to back Heathrow expansion'

The third runway is controversial. Picture: AFP/Getty ImagesThe third runway is controversial. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
The third runway is controversial. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
MPs from the Scottish National Party are as yet undecided on whether to back the UK Government over plans for a third runway at Heathrow, it has been claimed a head of a crucial vote today.

The official position of the SNP Government in Edinburgh has been in favour of the Heathrow extension, but there have been questions emerging in the last week about the specific benefits of a third runway to Scotland.

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A senior party source told the BBC that the party at Westminster remains unconvinced of the case for Heathrow expansion and could yet vote against the plans when they come before the House of Commons later today.

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The source said: “The government might well find out on Monday that they have run out of goodwill from the SNP over this.

“They have only themselves to blame for that.”

As many as 50 Labour MPs will back the Government, meaning a defeat is unlikely, but an SNP abstention or vote against could yet complicate the numbers, with the Conservatives keen to avoid another knife edge vote like last week’s on Brexit, which saw pregnant and sick MPs forced to vote.

One of the most high profile opponents of a third runway at Heathrow, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, will miss the vote despite previously saying he would ‘lie down in front of bulldozers’ in a bid to halt expansion.

Mr Johnson is out of the country, and has been accused of cowardice over the vote, especially after junior Minister Greg Hands resigned from the Government in order to vote against the plan.