The government are risking west Londoners’ mental health by building a third runway at Heathrow Airport, Brentford and Isleworth Green Party candidate Daniel Goldsmith has warned.
He claims that increased aviation noise can lead to stress and heart problems, with residents particularly affected.
Mr Goldsmith said: “When you’re woken at 5:30 by an A380 thundering over, it makes you feel powerless. There’s nothing you can do.”
The constituency sits just to the west of Heathrow Airport and is exposed to plenty of air traffic.
Labour’s Ruth Cadbury, who has held the seat since 2015, has made her opposition to Heathrow expansion a central part of her campaign, but Mr Goldsmith believes she’s too late to the party.
Mr Goldsmith said: “She doesn’t realise the seriousness of climate change, and the climate emergency.
“She’s beginning to, but she’s not fully there.” When the airport expansion was originally proposed, Mrs Cadbury pushed for the expansion to take place at Gatwick, rather than on her own constituency’s doorstep.
Mr Goldsmith added: “It shows a lack of understanding of climate change. Putting a runway in a different part of the country isn’t going to give it less of an impact.
“It isn’t possible to have a third runway and for the UK to make climate neutral by 2030.”
Mr Goldsmith has been an active member of the Green Party for 12 years.
A lifelong environmentalist and a competitive cyclist, he describes it as a happy marriage.
He didn’t intend to run for this election but stepped in when the proposed candidate pulled out for personal reasons.
He believes that widespread opposition to Heathrow expansion is part of a larger youth awakening to the immediate dangers of climate change.
He talks of how visits to schools draw far more interest from young people and even children than they did when he first joined the party.
He said: “At a hustings at a local school, I even received 20 seconds of applause as I trotted across the stage.
“I’m an IT consultant specialising in SAP and finance systems, I’m not Tony Blair.”
Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.