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

  • Comment One Nation Conference? Not for poor Labour members

    One Nation Conference? Not for poor Labour members

    Full time Carers who care 35 hours + a week for a disabled or elderly relative receive the princely sum of £61.35pw for their efforts. Many carers like myself in reality care 24/7, 365 days a year. Already cut out of most activities like a meal out or a social evening with friends, our horizons under the Tory government have become narrower and narrower. As Labour Party members, many of us look to the party to get our voices heard, […]

    Read more →
  • Featured My visit to Israel and Palestine this week has strengthened my commitment to a two state solution

    My visit to Israel and Palestine this week has strengthened my commitment to a two state solution

    Since Operation Protective Edge began in early July, at least 1,360 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians, and a quarter of Gaza’s population has been forced from their homes. Two Israeli civilians have lost their lives in rocket attacks, several hundred have been injured, and 56 Israeli soldiers have been killed. Today, the latest appalling loss of life is yet another tragic example of the death and destruction that has resulted from the escalation of this conflict. Of course this […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Grayling gives speech attacking Labour while his own department publish his failings

    Grayling gives speech attacking Labour while his own department publish his failings

    You know that a Cabinet Minister’s speech has no positive message when the Tory Press Office Twitter account bothers to livetweet it.And that’s exactly what happened with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s attack on Labour spending plans this morning. No, we don’t they got him to do it either. The speech itself was standard fare: lots of attacks on trade unions dressed up as economic commentary. What was interesting was that while he was giving it, the Ministry of Justice released […]

    Read more →
  • Comment I do not have a vote in the referendum, but I do have a voice

    I do not have a vote in the referendum, but I do have a voice

    For me, the debate about why Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom is personal and emotive – but is also about hard facts. We are tied together by bonds of friendship, family and economy in so many ways. My family history – going back some 300 years – is Northern Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh. I was born and brought up in Wales by a Cumbrian mother and a Wiltshire father. I went to university in England, and […]

    Read more →
  • News Seats and Selections Miliband’s greatest quality is that he’s willing to have a “bloody good think”, says Dobson

    Miliband’s greatest quality is that he’s willing to have a “bloody good think”, says Dobson

    Last week, Frank Dobson announced his intention to stand down as MP for Holborn and St Pancras after 35 years. Today, The Guardian have a candid and, at times, touching interview with the former Health Secretary. In a wide-ranging conversation with Owen Jones, Dobson sounds optimistic about the current state of the Labour Party: he’s “very confident” Labour will win next year’s election and is pleased that the Party has avoided going “a bit 1979″. Ed Miliband has ensured that […]

    Read more →