Treasury Committee chair Andrew Tyrie demands airports update from new chancellor Philip Hammond

Mark Sands
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The Debate Over The Third Runway At Heathrow Airport Continues
Treasury Committee chair Andrew Tyrie has accused former chancellor George Osborne of "obfuscation" on airports (Source: Getty)

New chancellor Philip Hammond is facing demands from parliament's influential Treasury Committee to publish more information on the government's arguments for airport expansion.

Committee chair Andrew Tyrie has written to Hammond, and accused his predecessor George Osborne of "obfuscation and delay".

In his letter to Hammond, Tyrie said: "For nearly 40 years, there has been much talk, but no action by governments on airport capacity. There are three options on the table and no need for further delay.

"What is needed, however, is transparency about the strength of the economic case for each option, so that the public and parliament can judge fairly the decision that the government makes. This transparence has not been forthcoming."

Read More: Poll: Londoners would rather expand Gatwick than Heathrow

It is the latest stage in running battles between Tyrie and the Treasury over airports - the senior Tory repeatedly demanded more information from Osborne over 2015.

In November, Tyrie submitted a raft of parliamentary questions to both Osborne and then transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, focusing on the Airport Commission's report, published in July last year.

That report called for expansion at London Heathrow airport, although the government has twice delayed making a decision since.

And speaking on Radio 4 last week, Hammond said he would want to look at additional research ordered by McLoughlin before making a decision.

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