General Election 2015: Zac Goldsmith vows to protest against ‘absurd, mad’ Heathrow Airport expansion plan

Heathrow expansion is set to hit fresh turbulence now Zac Goldsmith has been re-elected as Conservative MP for Richmond Park.

Chatting to SW Londoner immediately after his victory speech, Mr Goldsmith said he had a hunch that the Airport Commission report would not recommend Heathrow an additional runway.

He revealed that he would be putting together an even stronger anti-expansion campaign if his predictions were wrong.

Mr Goldsmith said: “This is a very clear issue for me. If whoever is in government decides to embark on this absurd, mad, crazy project of Heathrow expansion I will do whatever it takes to fight that threat, whether it’s my party or another party – I’m very strong on that.”

Mr Goldsmith, who originally claimed he would not run for re-election with the Conservative Party in 2015 if they left the possibility of Heathrow expansion on the cards, has remained open to the possibility of defecting to another party if Conservatives pushed ahead with the project.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Goldsmith alluded to the possibility of standing down before the end of his five year term, and emphasised his commitment to the local community, rather than to his party.

Speaking afterwards about his re-election, he said: “It’s an amazing thing and it’s very hard to describe it. To be elected by your community, to be their voice in Parliament for five years, is an astonishing thing.

“It’s off the scale, and to be asked to do it twice was an even bigger privilege, so there’s emotion of course.”

Another community issue at the forefront of Mr Goldsmith’s agenda is local school places.

He said: “There are a lot of young families here and people expect the best possible schools and an appropriate number of spaces, so working closely with government and local government is always a priority.”

Mr Goldsmith highlighted the importance of ensuring that national decisions kept local communities in mind.

He said: “One particular issue that I hope to get stuck into again is planning – current planning works are harming the community in many different respects and it’s something I hope to be able to change.”

Mr Goldsmith put his success in the context of the wider local and national story where Conservatives had made gains in Kingston and Surbiton and Twickenham.

He said: “I don’t know what to tell you – it’s madness – but Tania (Mathias) is the best possible candidate they could have chosen in Twickenham.

“I’ve been lucky enough to spend a bit of time in Twickenham knocking on doors with her and they react really well to her – it was a brilliant decision from the Conservatives to choose her as a candidate.”

She has revealed she will work alongside Zac Goldsmith to oppose Heathrow expansion plans.

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