Putney MP Justine Greening facing difficult day as Cabinet reshuffle looms
8:40am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
Putney MP Justine Greening is facing a battle to hold on to her job in this week's expected Cabinet reshuffle.
The Transport Secretary was a vociferous opponent of a third runway at Heathrow airport in the 2010 general election, arguing against expansion because the flight path is directly over south-west London.
But Ms Greening's current job and her previous stance over a third runway puts her in a difficult position and it is understood her future may rest on the Prime Minister David Cameron's plans for aviation policy.
Last week Ms Greening insisted that a "cross-party consensus" means a third runway at Heathrow would not be considered as it was not a "not a long-term solution".
Speaking on the Today programme on Radio 4 last week, she said: "We do need to look long term. One of the problems of the third runway – aside from noise, air pollution and surface access – is that it's not a full-length runway, it can't take the major new planes. The question then is, where would the fourth one go?
"It's time to move away from the piecemeal approach to aviation capacity. We need to look long term, start to be more bold, and think what our country needs in 30, 40, 50 years' time."
Pressed on whether she would stay in her job if a third runway was approved, Ms Greening admitted it "would be difficult for me" to remain if it was supported.
Since the interview the Prime Minister has been urged by business leaders and some senior Tories to move his Transport Secretary on because she is a perceived "roadblock" to expansion at Heathrow that could boost economic growth.
However. the PM is expected to give a green light to the creation of an independent review of Britain's airports which some say would take the controversial issue of out of politicians' hands and could also strengthen the position of the Ms Greening.