The government won a key vote in the Commons by 415 votes to 119 – a majority of 296. Tory MPs were under orders to support the government – but Boris Johnson, a leading opponent of expansion, missed the vote because he was in Afghanistan. Labour’s official position was to oppose expansion, but its MPs were given a free vote. The SNP abstained.
The Democratic Unionist Party, which is supporting May in power, might also exert pressure on the government over the controversy. Two of its 10 MPs, Gavin Robinson and Jim Shannon, have signed a Parliamentary motion demanding “a 28-day time limit and greater use of community-based alternatives.”