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Theresa Villiers calls for inquiry into Labour's handling of flight crisis

The sudden lifting of the flight ban raises important questions about the Labour government's handling of the whole affair. That's the view of Theresa Villiers. The Tories' Transport spokesman told Radio 4's Today programme that an inquiry was needed "for the victims and the sake of the airlines who have lost business," and because airlines had been grounded "on the basis of an opinion which was proved to be incorrect."

Listen again via this link. Yesterday Boris Johnson had questioned the flight ban.

This call comes after a number of interventions by Theresa Villiers on the aviation fiasco. Over the weekend the Conservatives set out a plan outlining what to do about it, produced a list of substantive questions that needed to be addressed, and urged the Government to set out a clear plan to get people home.

That hasn't stopped Labour accusing them of politicising the aviation fiasco though, which is a bit rich after Brown and Mandelson hyped it up with Sunday's dramatic press conference on the steps of Downing Street. This morning the Lib Dem's Norman Baker also took to the airwaves to accuse the Conservatives of being 'gleeful' about it.

This is a ridiculous attack. The Conservatives have been doing exactly the kind of thing a responsible opposition should be doing - making constructive proposals on how to get a grip on the situation.

Labour and the Lib Dems can call it low politics, but was Brown's Dunkirk press conference at Downing Street an apolitical event? Has Norman Baker even said anything on the ash cloud that wasn't about the Tories? And anyway, where are all those coaches?

Tim Montgomerie


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