HEATHROW’S expansion will benefit Yorkshire - and the rest of the country - according to aviation minister Baroness Sugg.

She spoke to the Telegraph & Argus ahead of Monday’s House of Commons vote on the third runway issue.

While admitting it was a “contentious” issue - one which led International Trade Minister Greg Hands to step down - she said the Government cannot wait any longer to push ahead with it.

Lady Sugg said the benefits in Yorkshire would be seen in terms of business and tourism, more room for flights, more opportunities for exports, plus lower fares.

She added that it is “not going to cost a penny” as it is being privately financed and that it would bring growth across the country and benefits to the tune of up to £74 billion to passengers and the wider economy.

Bosses at Leeds Bradford International Airport have spoken out in favour of the expansion, pointing to the “stronger global links” it would create.

A spokesperson said: “Our services to Heathrow offer important international connections for people and businesses across Yorkshire, so we welcome expansion and the benefits it is set to bring. It is important to understand that Heathrow expansion offers us increased opportunities for connections to destinations worldwide and therefore stronger global links for Yorkshire.

“We are confident that Leeds Bradford Airport will remain a crucial hub for Yorkshire, providing a global gateway to our region.”

The Government has signalled it would make sure the extra capacity created by the third runway would help protect domestic routes.

Public service obligations would protect routes if required, which would also exempt them from air passenger duty.

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said: “I’m very much in favour of it.

“I think it’s good for the country and good for the local economy as well.

“It’s absolutely crucial that we expand Heathrow - it should have happened years and years ago.”

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins added: “I am a long-time supporter of the Heathrow expansion as when I visited Leeds Bradford Airport, I was assured that this would benefit the prosperity of our city and our region.

“I’m in favour of the new jobs and economic benefits it would bring to the area and to Yorkshire.”

John Grogan, Labour MP for Keighley, spoke out against the expansion, saying the environmental case for such a move "did not stack up."

He added: "Northern airports risk a decade or more of stagnation, as investment is earmarked for Heathrow and also for the associated transport infrastructure. The high-speed East-West Rail link to Manchester Airport is significantly less likely with the third runway than without it.

"Official figures produced by the Department of Transport and analysed by the Select Committee on Transport clearly illustrate that Heathrow expansion will be at the cost of international flights to and from the other nations of the UK and English regions outside London and the South East.

"The Committee report has the figures broken down for individual airports. Without Heathrow expansion, Birmingham would have roughly 124,000 international flights in 2030 but only 107,000 if Heathrow expands.

"For Leeds Bradford the figure is 39,000 without expansion and roughly 35,000 with expansion over the same period.

"For Manchester the figure is 179,000 if Heathrow does not expand and 159,000—20,000 fewer international flights—by 2030 if it does.

"More direct point to point international flights from the North are what is needed to generate growth."

Labour MP Alex Sobel, whose constituency covers Leeds Bradford Airport, was also contacted for a comment.