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BORIS JOHNSON was challenged today to stand shoulder to shoulder with campaigners in front of bulldozers if the High Court gives the go-ahead to plans to build a third runway at Heathrow airport.
Councils and environmental groups are making a legal challenge to the government’s decision to approve the environmentally damaging project.
A crowd of about 50 protesters gathered outside the court in London yesterday, joined by Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley.
Mr Bartley said: “We have seen bold pledges from Boris Johnson that he would stand in front of the bulldozers.
“If Boris Johnson would come down, I would stand shoulder to shoulder with him for the first time in my life to stop Heathrow expansion, but I suspect he won’t show.”
Mr McDonnell, whose Hayes and Harlington constituency is one of those affected by the plans, said that up to 4,000 homes could be damaged or destroyed if the third runway goes ahead.
“It isn’t just our homes, it isn’t just our community. This is our planet itself,” he said.
“This will be such a retrograde step in the campaign that we have to ensure climate change is halted.
“This will undermine any credibility of any government to in any way say they are tackling climate change.”
Friends of the Earth climate change campaigner Oliver Hayes pointed out: “Heathrow is already the single biggest source of emissions in the UK.
“Adding a third runway will make it virtually impossible for us to meet our climate change targets and demonstrates a shocking willingness to leave future generations stranded with climate-damaging infrastructure.”
Tim Crosland, director of anti-climate change legal charity Plan B, said: “The broad coalition of devolved government and civil society lining up against the government is proof that this is not a political issue. It's a coalition for the future of life on Earth — one that everyone can get behind.”
A Department for Transport spokeswoman claimed that Heathrow expansion would “provide a boost to the economy, increase our international links and create tens of thousands of new jobs.”
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