Up-beat and determined rally organised by Zac Goldsmith, in Richmond, against Heathrow 3rd runway

In addition to the protest against a 3rd runway near Heathrow, with two sections of nearby roads closed by activists linked together with arm locks, lying on the ground, there was also an entirely law abiding protest near Heathrow.  Earlier in the day there was a large, energetic and very positive rally in Richmond, organised by Zac Goldsmith – as part of his re-election campaign. Zac had always said that if the government backed a 3rd runway, we would resign. As soon as they did, he did – keeping his word to his electorate. The by-election was caused by the Heathrow issue, and that is what Zac intends to be returned to Parliament on. The LibDems want to get a 2nd MP in parliament, and so are hoping the by-election will instead be largely about Brexit. The rally was compered (brilliantly) by Giles Brandreth, and addressed by numerous well informed speakers, including the Leaders of the 4 councils now embarking on legal action against the government on the runway decision, and the ex-President of the Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, as well as spokespeople from the Richmond Heathrow campaign, Teddington Action Group, Stop Heathrow Expansion, and Chiswick residents. It was made very clear that Zac has the necessary years of political experience as an MP to take this issue back to Parliament, get change, and ensure the runway is opposed – in every way.

Everyone who spoke was utterly determined that, with sufficient work and concerted, united opposition over the coming years, the highly unsustainable and damaging plan for a 3rd runway at Heathrow will be blocked.


Lots more photos at 


The rally was very ably, and amusingly, introduced by Giles Brandreth, (if  anyone ever needs a rally to be engagingly and effectively compered, Giles is your man).  The first speaker, with a range of amazing impersonations (including Boris ….) was Alistair McGowan, who spoke movingly about the devastation to all life on earth, including the natural world, from human impact including climate change.  (David Attenborough lives close to Richmond Green).


Some photos, to give a flavour of the rally:


Zac at the rally – hoping to be re-elected as MP for  Richmond Park, to continue his determined fight against a Heathrow runway


The 4 councils that will be taking legal action against the government’s decision to approve a Heathrow 3rd runway.  (Cllr Simon Dudley, Leader of Windsor & Maidenhead; Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth; Councillor Dominic Gilham, standing in for Cllr Ray Puddifoot of Hillingdon; and Lord True, Leader of Richmond council).


Mohammed Nasheed, ex-president of the Maldives (which once held a government meeting under water, for the cameras, to illustrate the danger of climate change


Sheila Taylor (aged 85) speaking about how it had been a battle for residents for years against Heathrow, with decades of uncertainty about their future and the chance of having homes compulsorily purchased and having to move. Sheila has lived in the area since World War 2.


Part of the crowd listening to the speakers – often applauding enthusiastically


Young people who understand the negative impacts that a larger Heathrow would bring, to so many people, in so many different ways.

Lib Dem candidate for Richmond Park Sarah Olney, former climate change secretary Ed Davey and Ukip’s Suzanne Evans were also seen with protesters, many of whom were holding placards and posters.

Neil Keveren, whose house would be yards from the boundary fence of an expanded Heathrow, in Harmondsworth, spoke passionately about the fight. He ended by this memorable chant:

“Theresa May, Theresa May,

what would your father say?

No ifs, No buts, No 3rd runway.”  


Stronger together – with the logos of many of the groups united together to fight a Heathrow runway


Warning about how much the necessary work to improve surface access would cost taxpayers, if there is a Heathrow 3rd runway


Reminder, from a Stop Heathrow Expansion banner, of Theresa May’s comment in 2010: “I strongly welcome the cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow”.