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MPs to vote today on Heathrow expansion

A HIGHLY divisive vote on approving a third runway at Heathrow Airport will take place in the Commons today.

Lily-livered Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a long-term opponent of the expansion, will flee abroad as fellow Conservatives face a three-line whip to back the plan.

There are also expected to be votes going each way in Labour, which is officially opposed to the expansion.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has allowed MPs a free vote on the runway, which some trade unions and MPs support to bring more jobs to the area.

The long-running saga has already sparked resignations and division in the Conservative Party.

Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands quit as international trade minister last week to oppose the airport expansion.

The government has so far declined to say where Mr Johnson will be for security reasons.

Opponents have attacked the scheme on environmental, noise and financial grounds.

Friends of the Earth condemned the plans as “morally reprehensible” and would see the enlarged Heathrow emitting as much carbon as the whole of Portugal.

A Free Ride campaign group, which fights for fairer and greener tax on air travel, published a report finding that Heathrow’s rising demand is being dominated by the rich taking leisure flights.

The group said: “The growth in air traffic that will result from a third runway at Heathrow is virtually guaranteed to mean the UK cannot meet its climate change commitments.

“Instead of new runways, we need a frequent flyer levy to manage demand growth.”

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