Third runway protest takes off
Parliament Square rally draws Tories, Labour bigwig John McDonnell and every London Mayor candidate
ACTIVISTS from Englefield Green joined thousands of anti-Heathrow expansion protestors in Parliament Square to apply 11th hour pressure on the government.
Organised by Tory Zac Goldsmith and featuring all the candidates for London mayor, the rally was compered by broadcaster Gyles Brandreth.
Crowds gathered on Saturday October 10 to hear from Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, John Stewart from HACAN, Greenpeace director John Sauven, Tania Mathias, MP for Twickenham, and Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor.
Bob McLellan, of the Englefield Green Action Group, said the rally was inspiring, but he was disappointed with the turnout from the village.
“The MPs and the people who spoke, they did a super job,” Mr McLellan said. “All the mayoral candidates were very clear about not supporting the expansion of Heathrow and the third runway.
“I was disappointed with the number of people from Englefield Green,” he added, blaming the clash with the Rugby World Cup. As a rugby fan, Mr McLellan pondered: “Are people more concerned about the future, or the rugby? Whatever happens, this is going to face legal challenges if a third runway is agreed.
“It’s unlikely to happen in the next five years or so.”
Mr McLellan has written to David Cameron over what he believes is a distortion of the democratic process with the creation of a cabinet committee on Heathrow expansion. The committee does not include Runnymede and Weybridge MP Philip Hammond, who opposes expansion, but does include Chancellor George Osborne, who backs Heathrow’s bid.
Rally organiser Zac Goldsmith.