Parliament protestors arrested for anti-expansion stunt

Five activists were arrested after scaling the roof of the Houses of Parliament to protest against the creation of a third runway at Heathrow.

The three men and two women from climate action group Plane Stupid hung banners from the roof shortly before Prime Minister's Questions on the day a Government consultation into Heathrow expansion ended.

They also threw paper aeroplanes off the roof made out of Whitehall documents that the group claims reveal airport operator BAA wrote parts of the consultation document and the outcome was already decided in favour of a third runway.

It is thought they entered the building using visitors' passes, before gaining access to the roof at about 9.30am last Wednesday, where they unfurled two banners, one stating No 3rd runway while the other branded the building BAA HQ.

Nearly three hours later, they were led off peacefully for questioning by police, before being bailed to report back to police in April.

Londoner Richard George, 27, who was one of the protestors, accused Gordon Brown of fixing the consultation.

He added: "This Prime Minister doesn't even have the courage to ask Londoners the very simple question - do you want a third runway?"

An unnamed 26-year-old Parliament employee has also been arrested and bailed by police under suspicion of helping the demonstrators.

The Airport Operators Association condemned the stunt, which came just two days after Greenpeace protesters scaled an Airbus A320 at Heathrow in an anti-third runway demonstration.

Spokesperson Neil Pakey said: "Protesters against airport expansion have lost all credibility. The inside of the House of Commons is the right place to determine the Government's policy on airport expansion - not through anti-democratic stunts."

It is not the first time this year that Plane Stupid has run into trouble with the law - ten protesters aged between 19 and 24 were arrested and charged in January after demonstrating against the use of private jets at Edinburgh airport.

A video of Plane Stupid's rooftop protest can be seen here.

Kate Martin


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Waste & resource management
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