Department for Transport spying on Heathrow critics

Department for Transport spying on Heathrow critics ‘a sign of desperation’. Campaign group calls for next Government to ‘clear out and clean up the Department’.

Campaign group HACAN, representing residents under the Heathrow flight paths, called on the next Government to ‘clean out the Department for Transport’ following today’s revelations that officials from the Department have compiled dossiers on opponents of Heathrow expansion and handed the information to the Police.

Department for Transport officials monitored anyone speaking out against the proposed third runway at Heathrow. The numbers could run into tens of thousands.

Seventy thousand people responded to the official consultation and an estimate twenty thousand people attended protest meetings.

Campaign group HACAN, representing residents under the Heathrow flight paths, called on the next Government to ‘clean out the Department for Transport’ following today’s revelations that officials from the Department have compiled dossiers on opponents of Heathrow expansion and handed the information to the Police.

Department for Transport officials monitored anyone speaking out against the proposed third runway at Heathrow. The numbers could run into tens of thousands. Seventy thousand people responded to the official consultation and an estimate twenty thousand people attended protest meetings.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “If he had any honour at all, Transport Minister Geoff Hoon would resign over this. But it is a clear sign of the Government’s desperation that they are losing the battle over a third runway that they have to stoop as low as this. If we ever have meetings with civil servants, they may as well caution us that anything we say will be taken down and used as evidence against us and handed to the Police!”

Stewart added, “In the longer-term, the challenge for the next Government will be to clean up the Department for Transport and have a wholesale clear out of the civil servants in the aviation sector.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

(1). The story broke in the Daily Mail (25/5/09) –

For further information:

John Stewart 0207 737 6641; 07957385650

Press Release dated 25/5/09