The final vote on proposed Heathrow expansion has been delayed until at least 2018.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said in a written statement to parliament that the timing of the election meant that a third reading of the bill  would come next year.

He said that the government remained committed to a third runway, which has been highly contentious within the Conservative Party, highlighting possible growth opportunities for the country.

Mr Grayling said: "This government is fully committed to realising the benefits that a new northwest runway at Heathrow would bring, in terms of economic growth, boosting jobs and skills, strengthening domestic links and – critically – increasing and developing our international connectivity as we prepare to leave the European Union.

"The timing of the election, in particular the need to re-start a select committee inquiry into the draft Airports national policy statement, means we now expect to lay any final NPS in parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons."

MP John McDonnell slammed the action and called on the government to scrap the plans.

He said: “Instead of kicking the decision into the long grass as they have done for the last 7 years, the government should show some leadership and scrap the plans altogether.

“The result of the General Election means a third runway at Heathrow looks increasingly unlikely to ever be built.

“London has a very serious air pollution problem and building a third runway at Heathrow is incompatible with meeting our air pollution targets.

“My constituents face losing their homes, jobs and livelihoods. We won’t stop campaigning against this runway until the plans are scrapped once and for all.”