27th September 2010
Ed Miliband victory raises hopes of all-party agreement on runway ban
The election of Ed Miliband as the new leader of the Labour party has been welcomed by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) in view of his strong environmental credentials and stated opposition to new runways at Heathrow and Stansted.
SSE is actively pressing the Coalition Government for a moratorium on a second runway at Stansted and, in parallel, is seeking to persuade Labour politicians to abandon their previous policy of supporting airport expansion.
The appointment of Ed Miliband is seen as a significant step forward towards changing the Labour party’s airports policy. Of all the leadership candidates the younger Miliband made the clearest statements of opposition to new runways in the south east – in contrast to his brother David who remained wedded to the old expansionist position.
SSE Campaign Director Carol Barbone said that every opportunity was being taken to get the moratorium message through to the three main political parties, not least at their annual party conferences which SSE is attending and at meetings with Transport Ministers Theresa Villiers and Norman Baker.
Speaking from Manchester she said: “Aviation industry representatives are making 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.”