After several North West MPs – both Labour and Conservative – voted in favour of Heathrow expansion, the Green Party has issued a statement strongly criticising their decision.
John Knight, on behalf of the North West Green Party, said: “Any lip-service these individuals and their parties pay to air-quality and the environment will now have to evaluated in the light of this vote.”
He added: “It is particularly shocking that MPs representing constituencies like Wythenshawe, Cheadle, Stockport and Tatton – already badly affected by airport noise and air-pollution – voted to inflict more of the same on the residents of West London and the Thames Valley.”
Brian Candeland, North West Green Party chair, added: “This decision is a disaster for all those who care about Britain’s role in combating catastrophic climate change.
“I expect no better of the Tories but it is particularly disappointing to see so many North West Labour MPs betraying future generations in this way.
“We need serious infrastructure investment in Britain – but that must be low-carbon, clean transport systems for the future and for the whole country – not a mega airport in West London.”
North West MPs who voted in favour of Heathrow expansion included:
Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Chris Matheson (City of Chester)
Laura Smith (Crewe and Nantwich)
Fiona Bruce (Congleton)
Esther McVey (Tatton)
David Rutley (Macclesfield)
Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)
Notably, Labour MP Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale) voted against the plans, which were ultimately passed by 415 votes to 119 – a majority of 296.
In a statement posted online Mr Amesbuy said: “I voted against plans to expand Heathrow Airport and I’d like to tell you why.
“It was because, quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of the South East getting infrastructure investment while the North and my constituency misses out.”
He continued: “Many of my constituents have been rightly angry about tolls on the Mersey Gateway bridge. We’ve been repeatedly told by the government that the only way we can have critical infrastructure is when we pay for it ourselves.
“Meanwhile. London and the South East once again receives a huge infrastructure cash boost.
“If this government is serious about ending the North/South divide and is truly committed to the ‘Northern powerhouse’, then they need to prove it with actions and not words.”
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas meanwhile said she feels that Heathrow expansion puts a ‘wrecking ball’ through Britain’s climate policies.
Lucas, who voted against the proposals, said: “We need serious infrastructure investment in Britain – but that must be low-carbon, clean transport systems for the future – not a mega airport in West London.”
She added: “The fact that Boris Johnson is set to miss the vote truly underlines his utter spinelessness.
“He stood against Heathrow as a point of principle – and has now fled the country to save his job, and maintain his disastrous political career.
“Boris Johnson said he’d lie down in front the bulldozers at Heathrow – but instead he’s now bowing out of politics for the day and bulldozing what is left of his own reputation.”
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye commented: “Parliament has ended 50 years of debate by deciding that Heathrow expansion will go ahead.
“This vote will see us deliver more jobs, create a lasting legacy of skills for future generations and guarantee expansion is delivered responsibly.”