Saturday, January 10, 2009
Will Hilary Benn Resign over Heathrow?
The decision on a third runway at Heathrow could mark a watershed moment for the government. All the indications are that they will give it the go-ahead. Although the runway does not need primary legislation (at least, I don't think it does), it is interesting to speculate what would happen in a Commons vote. There are at least fifty Labour MPs who would rebel, wiping out the government's majority. The key thing would be how many Tory MPs would rebel against their stance opposing a third runway. I suspect there would be quite a few.
Perhaps the bigger question is whether there might be resignations from the government over this decision. It's difficult to see how Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband could defend it, but he won't go. The one Minister I can see resigning is Hilary Benn, who has already made his position very clear. He knows he's likely to be dropped at the next reshuffle, so he might as well go out with a bang.