Maria Eagle MP, Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to the decision to delay the call for evidence on a long term aviation strategy for the UK, said:
"The Government cannot continue to keep its aviation strategy in a holding pattern without harming jobs and growth. A decision needs to be made on how to sustainably deliver the aviation capacity the country will need in the future and Ministers have made a huge mistake in again delaying the call for evidence on how best to meet this challenge. The divisions within Government that are preventing a way forward being agreed are not just between the Tories and Liberal Democrats but between the Transport Secretary, the Chancellor and the Prime Minister.
"The aviation industry and Britain’s wider business community have called for a cross-party consensus on aviation that lasts beyond the term of one Parliament. It makes no sense for the political parties to work separately on this and come up with different solutions. That’s why Labour has repeatedly offered to work with the Government to develop a sensible alternative to the rejected Heathrow third runway and the unworkable Thames Estuary proposals. It’s time for Ministers to put an end to the current mixed messages, dither and delay and accept our offer to work together for the good of the country. Otherwise, people will judge that this is a Government that is simply unable to take the tough decisions needed for Britain’s future."