On hunger strike to persuade Labour on Heathrow

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Rosie Woods spoke to Matt Lepley, who was one of the protesters against a third runway at Heathrow airport on hunger strike outside Labour Party headquarters. For more on why we oppose Heathrow expansion, see here

“The contribution to climate change Heathrow expansion would make is pretty massive.

“That is the main element we are concerned about and that is why we want a three line whip from Labour. It’s moral, not tactical. We want Jeremy Corbyn to use the three line whip because it’s the right thing to do.

“The moral question is clear when you look at climate change models, the impact the new runway would have on air traffic and the impact it will have on expansion and air traffic at other airports around the world; it’s one big interconnected system of growth.

“We aren’t trying to attack Labour, but to draw their attention to the moral case for this. We feel it’s in line with standing for the many and not the few, bearing in mind most flights are taken by privileged people. It’s not generally the poorest who will benefit from the extra runway; and climate change also hits poorer communities harder.

“In terms of the job creation argument – what kind of jobs? To be extreme, you could say war creates jobs in terms of weapons manufacture but where do you draw the line. After all, there are no jobs on a dead planet.

“We chose to go a hunger strike to show how seriously we take this issue. It’s quite dramatic but we believe strongly that it’s a crucial issue.”

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