A cabinet minister has taken a surprisingly outspoken stance on the UK's airport expansion, predicting that the Prime Minister will ditch plans for a third runway at Heathrow.
International development secretary and west London MP Justine Greening made the comments despite ministers being warned against making any statements on the issue.
The government has delayed making a decision on what form airport expansion will take, even after a long-awaited independent report from the Sir Howard Davies' Airport Commission was published, recommending building a new runway at Heathrow rather than Gatwick.
A vocal campaigner against the plans prior to the decision, Greening told the Telegraph:
“I don’t believe that this government will proceed with a third runway decision. I just don’t think it is a smart decision. Trying to expand Heathrow is like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house. It is a hub airport that is just simply in the wrong place.”
She said she believed that fellow ministers would come to the same conclusion.
Ministers were warned last year not to make comments by cabinet secretary SIr Jeremy Heywood due to the potential risks of a legal challenge to the final decision.