Daily Archives: August 29, 2012

Nick Clegg yesterday came to the defence of embattled transport secretary Justine Greening, insisting that there would be no change to Heathrow policy before 2015. Here is our story in today’s FT.

We wrote that Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary, has invited the government to open cross-party talks to try to thrash out an alternative to Heathrow. Philip Hammond, the previous transport secretary, was poised to agree to such talks just before he was moved to the MoD nearly a year ago.

Labour is opposed to the third runway at Heathrow (Ed Miliband nearly resigned over the issue when he was energy secretary) although some senior figures such as Ed Balls and Lord Adonis are in favour.

Here is the letter:

Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
Secretary of State for Transport
Department for Transport

28th August 2012


I am writing following your interview on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning and, in particular, your comments on a cross-party consensus on

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Nick CleggNick Clegg took many by surprise this morning by appearing in the Guardian calling for an emergency, temporary tax on wealth to help pay down the deficit. Why make the call publicly, when he’s a senior member of the government that decides whether this happens or not? And why now, so far away from Budget time?

The obvious answer is that this is not a thought-through policy proposal, but merely a bit of positioning to cheer the troops ahead of next month’s party conference. It will not happen, say many (including the BBC’s Nick Robinson), so there is no need to worry about what Clegg actually means.

But, that analysis ignores a couple of things. Read more