March 2, 2006
Karen Buck, the Aviation Minister, is resigning. The resignation comes just weeks before she was due to make controversial announcements on night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stanstead and ‘runway alternation’ at Heathrow.
Karen Buck, the Aviation Minister, is resigning. Although Ms Buck said that her resignation was not due to any disillusionment with government transport policy, she was known to have been unhappy with her aviation brief for some time.
The resignation comes just weeks before she was due to make controversial announcements on night flights and runway alternation at Heathrow. Before the end of March the Department of Transport will announce its future plans for night flights at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. The Department is also expected to embark on its controversial plans to end runway alternation at Heathrow over the next few weeks.
Karen Buck has said that she wants now to work on the London Poverty Commission.
Comment from John Stewart, Chair HACAN ClearSkies: “There have been rumours for some time now that Karen Buck was not comfortable with her aviation brief. If she has decided to go before she had to make announcements that could well result in more planes using Heathrow, we applaud that decision.”
Comment (slightly tongue in cheek) from Nic Ferriday, West London Friends of the Earth: “It is interesting that Karen Buck wishes to work on poverty. One of the main defences by the government of cheap, tax-free flights is that it they help poor people to fly. If Ms Buck believed that, perhaps she should have helped London’s poor by staying in office and continuing to support cheap flights.”