MP launches film competition against Heathrow expansion

Richmond Tory MP Zac Goldsmith organises event

Richmond Tory MP Zac Goldsmith and campaign group HACAN have teamed up to run a short film competition highlighting opposition to an extra runway at Heathrow.

MP Zac Goldsmith and actor Hugh Grant shout action against Heathrow expansion
MP Zac Goldsmith and actor Hugh Grant shout action against Heathrow expansion

Entrants have been asked to submit videos no more than two minutes long outlining the reasons a third runway should not be built.

The first prize is £10,000, with £3,000 and £2,000 for two runners-up.

The shortlisted entries will be judged by a celebrity panel, including Hollywood screen star Hugh Grant, at a gala showing in Richmond Theatre before an audience of 800 guests on June 18.

Mr Goldsmith said: “Among the submissions, I’m looking for some really powerful messages that will be taken up on social and conventional media, and ram home the message that Heathrow expansion is not only the wrong solution for our economy, it is politically undeliverable.

“A green light for Heathrow expansion is effectively a green light for a vast, foreign-owned and taxpayer-subsidised monopoly on one edge of our great city. It is astonishing the idea is even in consideration, particularly given that freeing Gatwick from the BAA monopoly has worked wonders for the airport and its customers.

“We should invest in improving London’s surface connections, maximising rather than suffocating competition between three main airports. The Chancellor needs to stop being led by the lobby groups and think the issue through himself.”

The competition is named ‘No Ifs; No Buts’ and has its own website,

David Cameron visited Richmond before becoming Prime Minister. At a public meeting in Richmond  he said “The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts.”.

Editor: I was at the meeting and heard him give that promise.

Mr Cameron’s stance has since changed. He set up the Airports Commission in 2012 to investigate the need for extra aviation capacity. Out of more than 50 submissions, the Commission has chosen only to look at Heathrow and Gatwick.

HACAN chairman John Stewart said: “Many people are hugely disappointed that David Cameron has gone back on his promise not to build a new runway at Heathrow. This ‘No ifs; no buts’ competition can highlight that.”

Political opposition to Heathrow expansion

Any expansion of Heathrow faces enormous opposition.

In council run referendums in May 2013, almost 75% of residents from Richmond, Hounslow and Hillingdon opposed Heathrow expansion.

The Mayor of London and the London Assembly are totally opposed to Heathrow expansion.