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  1. ITV Report

Third runway at Heathrow Airport given go ahead by MPs

There has been opposition to the move from environmental campaigners and local politicians Credit: PA

MPs have voted to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow airport, with 415 in favour and 119 against.

With an overwhelming majority of 296, the result will come as a blow to local politicians and environmental activists who have fought against expansion at the west London airport.

The division list showed eight Conservative MPs rebelled to vote against the expansion plans.

Support from Labour MPs helped push through the proposals to expand Europe’s busiest airport. Jeremy Corbyn’s party is officially opposed to the move but allowed a free vote on the measure that is backed by unions like Unite.

415 MPs voted in favour of Heathrow expansion

Ahead of the vote the transport secretary Chris Grayling told MPs it was a "really important moment in the history of this House and the history of this country".

"If the House endorses the proposed National Airports Policy Statement today, it will move on from decades of debate and set to my mind a clear path to our future as a global nation in the post-Brexit world."

Grayling added he recognised it was a "divisive" debate but noted there is strong support across the Commons for a "really important step for our nation".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson with Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Credit: PA

The absence of the foreign secretary from the Commons was noted on numerous occasions before and after the vote.

Boris Johnson, a long-time opponent of expansion, missed the vote as he was in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Secretary, who could have been forced to quit the Government if he had voted against the Government, was mocked for failing to appear with MPs shouting “where’s Boris?”

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald outlined Labour's official opposition to expansion and accused Grayling of making "a complete shambles of a vital national project".

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, speaking from the Labour backbenches, warned that villages which have existed for 1,000 years will be "wiped off the face of the earth" to enable a company to maximise its profits.

He said: "There are human costs to this decision that this House needs to recognise and contemplate before they vote tonight to worry and blight my community once again on a programme that will never - pardon the pun - take off."

Protests against Heathrow expansion were held outside and inside Parliament Credit: PA

Prior to the vote environmental activists staged a lie-in over Heathrow expansion plans in Parliament's central lobby.

Police locked-down the area after 12 protesters, who described themselves as from a "pop-up" Vote No Heathrow campaign, sprawled across the floor chanting.

Hannah, an activist who did not want to give her surname, said: "Heathrow expansion is a crime against humanity."

The protest lasted about half an hour.

Following the vote Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: "This Heathrow flight has failed all safety checks, yet ministers have boarded it anyway and persuaded a majority of MPs to go along with them. But we can't just look the other way while the whole dashboard flashes red with warning lights.

"The UK Government won't be able to tackle illegal levels of air pollution, never mind leaving a healthier environment to the next generation, if a new Heathrow runway is built.

"If ministers don't want to uphold the laws protecting us from toxic fumes and climate change, we're going to ask a court to do that."