Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has welcomed the fact that Labour has dropped its support for a 3rd Runway and has given its MPs a free vote on the issue.
Since 2015 the Labour Party has said that it would not support a 3rd Runway at Heathrow unless it passed tests on four different measures. These were: sufficiently boosting the economy, being compatible with climate change targets, ensuring regional connectivity and minimising noise pollution. At a meeting of the Labour Parliamentary Party on Tuesday 19th June, the Labour concluded that it has failed these four tests, and that it would give its MPs a free vote on whether to support the Government’s plans.
Since the Airports Commission recommended that the Government permit a 3rd Runway at Heathrow the predicted Net Present Value (economic benefits) has tumbled from +£11.4bn, to anything between -£2.5bn and +£2.9bn over 60 years. Government statistics also show that over 2m people would be more affected by noise pollution from airports landing at a 3rd Runway, despite the fact that 24% of all the people in Europe who are affected by aviation noise live under a Heathrow flight path.
Adam has campaigned against a 3rd Runway ever since he became MP for Windsor in 2005. In approximately the last month has tabled 20 Parliamentary Questions and spoken in 4 different debates in Parliament in opposition to Heathrow. He is a founding member of the No 3rd Runway Coalition and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Members Group on Heathrow Expansion.
The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:
“Under no circumstances will I ever vote for a 3rd Runway at Heathrow. I have fought tooth and nail against these misled plans for 13 years and I’m not about to stop now: I will vote against these ill-founded plans when they come to the House.
“With Labour’s whip having now been dropped I would urge Labour MPs to vote against the 3rd Runway at Heathrow. Votes ought to be on the basis of evidence, and the facts show that the environmental and business case for a 3rd Runway at Heathrow has been thoroughly taken apart.
“I would urge the Secretary of State for Transport Government to allow the vote to be unwhipped for Conservatives too.
“For my part I will be standing up for my constituents and the national interest and voting against the 3rd Runway at Heathrow which will be a disaster on so many levels.”
Note to editors
1. Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana and Guinea.
2. He has been a strong opponent of a 3rd Runway at Heathrow since he became MP for Windsor in 2005.
4. He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.