Labour shadow chancellor to stick by opposition to Heathrow expansion

Labour shadow chancellor to stick by opposition to Heathrow expansion

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New shadow chancellor John McDonnell would remain an opponent of the expansion of Heathrow even if the Labour Party supported it.

He said he could remain in his role because the party would accept dissent on the issue, the BBC reported.

Homes in his Hayes and Harlington constituency could be demolished if the west London airport expands, as recommended by the Airports Commission.

McDonnell, a leading anti-Heathrow campaigner, said: “As a constituency MP I will be opposed to Heathrow.

“The decision on Heathrow itself will be a democratic decision within our party itself.

“If there is a difference between me and the rest of the party, just as we always do, we respect the individual constituency MP’s view to protect his constituency.”

He said the difference of opinion on an issue was an example of the “new politics” under new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

A group of Labour MPs from east London has written to prime minister David Cameron urging him to back Heathrow expansion.

The letter was signed by Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North; Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South; Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham; and Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse.

They said the Airports Commission had produced a “rigorous assessment of London’s aviation needs for a generation”.

The letter said: “It is a plan that supports the opportunity of east London and the aspirations of east Londoners.

“It now falls to the government to get on with it – or see our great city fall behind.”

The prime minister is due to make a decision by the end of the year on whether to build a third runway at the west London hub.


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