A HAYES politician is insisting he does not fear losing his seat at the next General Election if permission for a third runway at Heathrow is granted by the Government.
Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell is a well known Labour backbencher who has spent 30 years opposing expansion at Heathrow Airport, often voting against his party in the process.
New research released today (Monday) by the environmental pressure group Greenpeace suggests constituencies surrounding Heathrow and its flightpath currently held by Labour would swing to the Conservatives in the event of a runway being approved.
It questioned more than 1,000 people living in Battersea, Brentford & Isleworth, Ealing Central & Acton, Ealing North, Feltham and Hammersmith and found almost a quarter said they would not vote Labour if the plans went ahead.
Although Mr McDonnell's constituency was not included in the survey, the impact of expansion would be very strongly felt by residents and businesses.
He said: "The research found four of the six areas questionned would switch to Conservative. However, even if that swing was replicated here it would not mean I would lose my seat.
"While I am happy to stand for Labour again at the next election, I have made it clear all along that on the issue of the third runway and expansion at Heathrow I vote as an independent.
"I refuse to be bound by party mandate as this issue is of vital importance not just for my constituency, but for the country and the planet too.
"That is why, even if the Government does gives its approval to a new runway, I will be calling for a vote in the House of Commons and I believe we, the opponents, will win that vote.
"People know my track record and I am once again confident of their support in the election. I want them to know that a vote for me is a vote against the runway - not for it."