Local MP no longer constrained by being a Cabinet minister
Justine Greening, MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, has taken the opportunity to speak out on Heathrow and Brexit now that she is no longer a member of the Cabinet.
The former Education Secretary - who controversially resigned from the Cabinet earlier this month - was previously constrained in what she could say because as a minister she had a duty to support Government policy.
Within a few days of stepping down she has spoken twice in the House of Commons questioning policy on Heathrow and Brexit. During a recent session on transport policy she described Heathrow expansion plans as flawed and said recent evidence had showed the expanded airport was "more expensive, lower value, more congesting, noisier and provides fewer connections".
In response Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that airport expansion was strategically important for the UK. When asked by Ms Greening for a meeting on the issue he said, "You and I had many conversations about this and I know we will carry on doing so. You and I, of course, don't share the same view.”
The previous day in the Commons, Ms Greening had said that Brexit would need to be unwound or improved if it did not work for young people.
She said, “The bottom line is that looking ahead, if Brexit doesn’t work for young people in our country, in the end it will not be sustainable. When they take their place here they will seek to improve or undo what we’ve done and make it work for them.
“So we do absolutely have a duty in this House to look ahead and ensure that whatever we get is sustainable and works for them.”
She pointed out that her constituency was substantially younger than the national average and had voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
Some observers believe that she is laying the groundwork for a defence of her local constituency in the next election. Ms Greening saw a significant erosion of her majority in last year’s election and a pro-Remain, anti-Heathrow stance is likely to shore up her postion.
January 22, 2018