Why I’ve resigned over the third runway

January 28, 2009 12:39 pm

Plane over homes

By Andy Slaughter

I have tendered my resignation from the government because of my opposition to a third runway at Heathrow. I do so with great regret, as I’ve enjoyed my last three years at the Departments of Transport, Trade and Industry and the Foreign Office.

This year will, I believe, see the biggest government investment ever in schools, hospitals and public transport and on these and other matters I will continue to support the government as it works to lead Britain out of recession.

However, I think the government has got it wrong on Heathrow, and on matters of this importance and where there is such a conflict I think my constituents – and my prospective constituents in Hammersmith – must come first.

Heathrow’s owners promised there would be no expansion after Terminal 5. Now they want a 3rd runway and a 6th terminal. Thousands of us could be affected by all-day aircraft noise, not to mention the impact on the wider environment.

Ministers are insisting that stringent noise and pollution limits are met before the new runway can be used, and that use of existing runways will not grow. But Heathrow will seek a way to break these promises once again.

So like many local people, I say enough is enough.

While I acknowledge that environmental controls insisted on by ministers and the refusal to allow increased use of existing runways were important concessions, they are not enough to prevent thousands of people being subject to all-day aircraft noise.

As a lifelong resident and MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherds Bush, I have battled airport expansion for 20 years. I now feel this issue is so important that I need the freedom from government to continue to work on a robust campaign that can stop the third runway being built.

I hope you agree that I have made the right decision.

Comments are closed

Latest

  • News Blair: We should not chase after UKIP on immigration

    Blair: We should not chase after UKIP on immigration

    Tony Blair has warned the Labour Party not to give in to UKIP’s arguments on immigration, saying that the party has a “nasty core of prejudice”. In an interview with Progress, Blair says Labour should be take the line that UKIP are wrong: “Let’s be clear: We don’t think that UKIP’s right, not on immigration and not on Europe – so the first thing you’ve got to be really careful of doing is … saying things that suggest that they’re kind […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland Murphy makes unity candidate pitch as Unite prepare to endorse Findlay

    Murphy makes unity candidate pitch as Unite prepare to endorse Findlay

    There are two interviews with Scottish Labour leader candidates in this morning’s papers. Jim Murphy launches his campaign by talking to the Daily Record (the same paper Johann Lamont did her resignation interview with last week), while Neil Findlay has a short conversation with the Morning Star. Murphy builds on the statement he made last night (“I’m applying for the job of First Minister”) by claiming he wants “to bring the country back together after the referendum.” He said: “I […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Brand or bland? Are these really my choices?

    Brand or bland? Are these really my choices?

    Russell Brand has a book out and a great publicist. His diagnosis of our current malaise is pretty spot on. His solutions however are woolly headed at best and inconsistent at worst. But Russell Brand is being taken seriously. He’s never off Newsnight nor out of the pages of the Guardian. People are flocking to follow him in their thousands. He is Che Guevara for the scripted reality generation. The established left simply don’t know what to make of this. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment If politicians can’t enact the policies people actually want, the system is broken

    If politicians can’t enact the policies people actually want, the system is broken

    This week, Class released a new poll on the theme of fairness and inequality, which will nicely coincide with the debates at our conference this Saturday. Speaking of which, you should totally book a ticket for that as we’re down to the last few. Anyway, I find our polling particularly interesting (I mean, you’d hope I would) because its aim is to gauge public opinion on long-term issues, rather than responding to a given news story. Class polls provide a […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Scotland “I’m standing for First Minister of Scotland and I intend to win”: Jim Murphy joins Scottish Labour leadership race

    “I’m standing for First Minister of Scotland and I intend to win”: Jim Murphy joins Scottish Labour leadership race

    We now have three candidates for Scottish Labour leader, as Jim Murphy’s long-awaited candidacy has been confirmed. The Shadow International Development Secretary and former Scotland Secretary released a statement this evening, saying that his intention is to be Scottish Labour leader and First Minister: “I’m standing for First Minister of Scotland and I intend to win. I want to bring Scotland back together after the referendum. There is so much to be proud of in Scotland but so much we […]

    Read more →