Runway protestors Downing Street demo

CAMPAIGNERS from the Stop Stansted Expansion group have taken their protest to the gates of Downing Street.The group waved placards at ministers as they arrived for their weekly Cabinet meeting yesterdayin an attempt to draw ministers' attention to the no-more-runways message.

CAMPAIGNERS from the Stop Stansted Expansion group have taken their protest to the gates of Downing Street.

The group waved placards at ministers as they arrived for their weekly Cabinet meeting yesterdayin an attempt to draw ministers' attention to the no-more-runways message.

Banners and placards were displayed urging the Government to say 'no' to a second Stansted runway.

Campaign director, Carol Barbone, said: "Stop Stansted Expansion's objective is very clear. We wanted to show Tony Blair and his Cabinet colleagues that we will continue to fight proposals to expand Stansted tooth and nail – just as we have over the last 17 months in a sustained and vociferous campaign which shows that this community will never be a soft political option."

The group went to London because they felt opinion within the Cabinet was "known to be divided" over the way forward for airports in the Southeast.

The government has suggested expansion programmes at several areas of the country to cope with an anticipated future rise in air travel.

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Expansion programmes are being considered for Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick or building a new £9bn airport at Cliffe, Kent.

The plans have sparked fury among those living in the affected areas including Stansted.

Heathrow and Stansted campaigners have recently joined together to reaffirm their combined opposition to an extra runway at either airport following reports that BAA wants to see a second runway at Stansted within 10 years and a third runway at Heathrow within 15 years.

The government will publish its White Paper on the future of airport expansion next month.

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