Theresa May laughs off Gordon Brown government comparisons


Theresa May has insisted she will make a decision on Heathrow expansion as she rejected suggestions her administration had been characterised by Gordon Brown-style dithering.

The Prime Minister refused to rule out the prospect of supporting extra runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick as she said her approach to big decisions was to carefully examine the evidence.

She has been criticised by Westminster commentators for delays in giving the green light to the Hinkley Point C power station and for her cautious handling of the Brexit process.

But Mrs May defended her methodical approach to making major decisions and said that Hinkley showed she stuck to her word.

She told reporters accompanying her on a visit to New York: "On Hinkley, I was very clear that I wanted to look at the details and then take a decision. I said a decision would be taken in September, it has been taken in September.

"On Heathrow, the Government has consistently said that we would be operating on the basis of looking at the evidence and then taking a decision on that.

"That's exactly what we are going to be doing."

Asked if that could mean supporting an extra runway at both Heathrow and Gatwick, Mrs May refused to rule out the option.

"We will look at the evidence that comes before us and we will then take a decision on the basis of that evidence.

"No a priori judgments as to what is going to happen. We will look at the evidence and take a decision."

She dismissed the suggestions from Westminster watchers such as the Independent's John Rentoul that her method of working was similar to Mr Brown's premiership.

Like Mr Brown, she entered Number 10 without an election and has so far insisted she does not require a personal mandate from voters.

Asked about the comparison, she laughed and said: "I missed that."

She insisted she had a mandate from the electorate because she was "continuing the manifesto that the Conservative Government was elected on in May 2015".