Mr Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, told The Daily Telegraph he was ready to desert the party if it ditched its pledge to block Heathrow’s expansion.
“I promised before the election that if the Conservatives perform a U-turn on Heathrow, I would trigger an immediate by-election so that local voters can have their say,” he said.
“Clearly, I would honour that commitment.”
Mr Goldsmith snatched the seat from the Liberal Democrats at the last election and a by-election in a highly marginal constituency - which is under the flight-path for Heathrow - would not only be unwelcome news for David Cameron, but also expose further Tory divisions on airport expansion. In recent weeks the party has been beset by infighting.
Boris Johnson, London’s mayor has accused Mr Cameron of “pussyfooting around” on the issue.Surprisingly principled stance by Goldsmith. BoJo, of course, wouldn't know what a principle was if it savaged him with a meat cleaver. Still, it is easy for Goldsmith to come over all principled - it isn't like her really needs the salary from being an MP.
Be interesting how this works out. If Cameron lets the runway proceed, then Goldsmith storms off in a huff. E ven if returned as an MP, he will be pretty pissed off with Cameron. If Cameron doesn't cave in on the runway issue, BoJo rails at him and bemoans the lack of ambition, enterprise and brave thinking in the Conservative party. Either way, he is strengthening a potential successor and creating a dangerous malcontent.
EDIT - the above is horseshit. BoJo, now that I'm in charge of my head once again, is not in favour of a Heathrow expansion. He wants to build an Island in the Thames. So the 'Two Tories warring over a runway' idea is the product of my tired and emotional brain. There are Dark Forces in the Tory Party pushing for more Heathrow, but Jonson is not among them.