Boris Johnson aggravated tensions with David Cameron today as he backed staging referendums over the expansion of Heathrow - and even suggested they could be held over Britain's membership of the European Union.
The Mayor of London warned he was “mobilising and alerting” people in the city to the dangers of increasing numbers of flights in and out of Heathrow.
Senior Tories are pressing Mr Cameron to reopen the question of building a third runway at Heathrow - a move that was denounced today by Mr Johnson as “foolish”.
Warning that he would lead campaigns against any expansion, he said he backed plans by Richmond Council - whose residents are under the Heathrow flight-path - to ballot people on the issue.
He said: “It is the wrong way for London. If Richmond is going to hold a referendum on this issue, then I would totally support it and I would vote ”No“.
Asked if he would call a vote for everyone in the capital, he said: 'I think before we hold a London-wide referendum… you could chuck in a question on the European Union if you were going to hold a London-wide referendum.“
Mr Johnson's mischievous aside on Europe will irritate the Prime Minister who has strongly resisted calls within his party for a nationwide vote on Britain's position in the EU.