AN ALLIANCE of London councils that say 'no' to Heathrow expansion has doubled in size, following a recent surge in membership.

The 2M group originally took its name from the two million residents represented by the 12 founding councils, which includes Hounslow.

But the group can now claim to represent a combined population of four million people after Brent, Harrow, Lewisham, Southwark and Sutton joined the group.

Hounslow's leader, Cllr Peter Thompson, said: "The opposition to airport expansion is getting stronger and stronger, and the Government would be wise to listen to the growing coalition of people from all backgrounds who say 'no' to expansion at Heathrow.

"When we launched 2M it was a west London campaign but now it has spread across the capital and into the Home Counties.

"We now have 19 local authorities, representing four million people who oppose expansion because it will mean more planes, more noise and more pollution."

The public consultation on the Government's plans to double Heathrow's capacity by adding a third runway and replacing runway alternation with mixed mode closed at the end of February.

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly is expected to announce her decision on the plans in the early summer.

In the meantime, the Stop Heathrow Expansion campaign, which is backed by a wide variety of groups including 2M, is inviting local people to say 'no' to airport expansion at a major public rally on May 31.

It is hoped that thousands of people from west London and beyond will converge on the village of Sipson, the site of the proposed third runway, and take part in the formation of a giant human 'NO'.