04:05PM, Monday 08 November 2021
Gridlocked traffic caused by protesters left the Windsor MP 'absolutely furious' as delays stopped him questioning Parliament over Heathrow Airport’s expansion.
The controversial Insulate Britain movement has been capturing headline news across the country in recent months after blocking vital roads in cities and motorways demanding government to take urgent action to insulate homes in order to tackle climate change.
MP Adam Afriyie was caught in the traffic chaos on Thursday morning when he travelled to Westminster to ask a question on Heathrow Airport’s expansion, which he has been a long opponent of.
The Conservative MP was due to ask the Transport Secretary if he had plans to re-evaluate the carbon cost of a third runway.
Aviation Minister Robert Courts, who answered the question, highlighted the challenges of decarbonising the aviation sector and restated that Heathrow expansion is a private-sector project and will receive no taxpayer funding.
Mr Afriyie did manage to enter Parliament, saying it was 'absolutely bizarre' the protesters blocked him from entering Parliament as he came here to 'put pressure' on the government to reduce carbon emissions from the airport.
In a statement to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the Windsor parliamentarian called the group 'idiots', adding he was 'absolutely furious' Insulate Britain prevented him from asking his original question.
He said: “I have been fighting tooth and nail to stop Heathrow expansion for 16 years to protect my constituents from noise, congestion, CO2 emissions, and other pollutants.
“I had specifically tabled a question to place pressure on ministers to prevent any further expansion of emissions of C02 from Heathrow. This is exactly the sort of thing that we MPs can do to directly bring about change.
“I seldom get annoyed, but I was absolutely furious that the actions of a handful of wrong-headed law-breakers from Insulate Britain had kept me gridlocked in fume-bellowing traffic and prevented me from actually asking the original question.
“Our government is making huge strides to clean up the UK and bring the world together to sort out international change, but these idiots are undermining that effort and the efforts of so many MPs.”
Actions from the protest group didn’t win any friends from the local campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion.
Geraldine Nicholson from the anti-third runway group said: “The sad irony is that this question was prevented in being put on time by a mob blocking an MP who was attempting to ask about carbon emission-busting Heathrow expansion and what government are going to do about it. With Heathrow expansion set to make Heathrow a supersonic polluter, this surely is a vital question that needs to be put to government.
“Perhaps it never occurred to these people that these sorts of actions could actually have exactly the opposite impact to which they desire.”
In a statement Insulate Britain defended its actions and said it has run 'one of the most successful campaigns in history'.
It added: "This happened not because we blocked motorways but because we blocked motorways to demand action on the crisis of humanity: climate breakdown.
"We presented the government with a dilemma because they cannot allow the disruption to continue but jailing people for demanding action on the climate ahead of a major UN Climate Conference is not a good look for the host country."
A number of schools across in Maidenhead and the surrounding areas have been named as top performers in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2022.