Stansted Airport campaigners happy with Labour leadership choice

CAMPAIGNERS trying to thwart expansion plans at Stansted Airport have welcomed the election of Ed Miliband as the new leader of the Labour party.

Members of the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) group have hailed the new leaders’ environmental credentials and praised his stated opposition to airport expansion.

SSE is actively pressing the current coalition Government for a 50-year minimum guarantee that no second runway will be built at the Essex transport hub.

They are also seeking to persuade Labour politicians to abandon their previous policy of supporting airport expansion across the UK, including Heathrow.

Of all the leadership candidates Mr Miliband made the clearest statements of opposition to new runways in the south east.

SSE campaign director Carol Barbone said that every opportunity was being taken to get the message through to the three main political parties, not least at the annual party conferences.

The group will be attending meetings with Transport Ministers Theresa Villiers and Norman Baker over the next two weeks.

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Speaking from the Labour Conference in Manchester, she said: “Aviation industry representatives are making it clear at every turn that they’ll bide their time in the hope that a shift in the political winds will make it possible for expansion plans to be revived.

“Ed Miliband’s leadership will be a severe blow to these hopes and it creates a real prospect of achieving cross-party consensus on an airports policy which would provide long term peace of mind to local communities around Stansted Airport.”

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