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Shadow chancellor vows to defeat government over Heathrow expansion

john mc donnell

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has warned the government that it will lose its legal battle to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Speaking to New Civil Engineer, McDonnell said he was confident that a judicial review would block the planned expansion.  

McDonnell was previously involved in a successful campagin to halt Heathrow expansion in 2010, and he has vowed to personally protest against expansion until it is thrown out. 

“We won in the legal action we took last time. The factors have not changed. In fact, they have got worse. Pollution has got worse. Climate change risks have got worse as well,” McDonnell told New Civil Engineer

“I cannot see this proposal stacking up legally. We are poisoning the air in my constituency and that is going even further.

He added: “Heathrow and the third runway campaign will be the iconic battleground not just in London, not just in this country, but across Europe and the globe against climate change.

“We will not let this happen, either by our opposition in the courts, democratically in Parliament, or by direct action.

“We were given promises as a community that there would be no third runway by political parties and by Heathrow itself. To be frank, over the years we have been lied to.”

In June, MPs voted in favour of building the runway at the airport, by 415 votes to 119. If construction of the third runway goes ahead, the Labour MP’s Hayes and Harlington constituency will be one of the areas affected.

Legal challengers of the government’s plans include the local authorities of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, which are being backed by the Mayor of London and Greenpeace.

Heathrow Hub are also challenging the government as they put forth a plan for Heathrow expansion that does not involve building a third runway.

There are also legal challenges to the runway from environmental charities Friends of the Earth and Plan B.

Heathrow Airport plans for construction of the third runway to begin in 2021.

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