British businesses face "unnecessary uncertainty" because the government has delayed a final decision on where to build an airport runway in the South East of England, Sadiq Khan warned this morning (19 October).

The Mayor of London also made a last ditch plea to Theresa May to expand Gatwick Airport instead of Heathrow.

"The Government's decision to yet again delay deciding where to build a new runway will cause unnecessary uncertainty for British businesses already struggling with Brexit," the Labour heavyweight said.

"Now more than ever, businesses need certainty and stability in order to make investment decisions and to keep jobs in Britain. Instead they are getting dither and delay.

"Now it's time to get on with building a new runway at Gatwick, which can be built quicker, cheaper, and without the years of legal and political battles that Heathrow clearly faces."

The comment came after it emerged last night that May had told her ministers that Parliament could have to wait until winter 2017/18 to have a vote on the issue.

The development came hours after Downing Street said a cabinet sub-committee would make a decision on the government's airport expansion preference next week.

Number 10 also revealed the prime minister would allow ministers to express "personal views" for a "limited time" over the decision, instead of maintaining cabinet collective responsibility.

May's move would allow Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Justine Greening to publicly protest against a third runway at Heathrow if the government gives the project a green light.

Conservative Zac Goldsmith, who lost to Khan at the Mayor of London election in May, also opposes a third runway at Heathrow.

The Richmond Park MP has promised to quit the House of Commons if the government gives expansion at the West London site the green light. "Heathrow has always been the default position of successive governments because the company used to be a monopoly with total access to government, and many of those relationships continue today," he told IBTimes UK.

"But in addition to the noise, cost and pollution, a green light for Heathrow would mean more years of dithering and delay, and for that reason there is still a strong chance it will be rejected."

Goldsmith, who currently holds a majority of more than 23,000 votes, also failed to rule out running as an independent if he triggers a by-election.

"For my part, I made a promise some years ago, and I will honour it. But for now I am concentrating on winning the arguments," he said.

The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies and published in July 2015, backed a third runway at Heathrow. Former Prime Minister David Cameron promised to oppose expansion at the site in 2009. Davies' conclusions dealt a blow to the "no ifs, no buts" pledge.