Whose consultation is it anyway?

Harriet Harman

Some very odd comments from a government Minister last week. Conservative MP Justine Greening spoke about the extraordinary collusion between the DfT and BAA, and demanded a debate in the House of Commons about the third runway. Harriet Harman replied that "The accusations of collusion are utter nonsense" and that "all decisions on adding capacity at Heathrow will be taken independently by BAA".

While it's normal for the inner circle to ignore all the evidence laid before them (seriously, did she even read the Sunday Times article?), her second comment was decidedly strange. Was she suggesting that BAA will take the decision as to whether to expand Heathrow or not? If so, what was the consultation all about? Or did she mean to say all decisions will be taken "independently of BAA", or "independently by the Government"? Or was this just a shocking display of just how right we were when we called Parliament 'BAA HQ'?