Former MP Zac Goldsmith isn’t going to let his eviction from the House of Commons keep him out of the fight against Heathrow.
Brexiteer Goldsmith gambled his seat in parliament on his constituents opposing a new runway at the West London airport, only for Richmond Park voters to back the Remainer Sarah Olney, who also opposed expansion.
But now, Goldsmith has found a new role with leading a group of south-west London councils in their opposition to expanding the site.
He will represent the local authorities of Richmond, Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Windsor and Maidenhead in fighting a new runway, serving as an organiser and spokesman.
Goldsmith is a long-time opponent of growing Heathrow's capacity and an environmental campaigner. He will not be paid for the role.
It represents a return to the public eye for Goldsmith, who suffered a disastrous 2016, losing out in London's mayoral election in May before being unceremoniously booted out by his constituents in December.
In a statement announcing his appointment, the former Conservative MP said: "The arguments against Heathrow expansion are overwhelming, but alone they aren’t going to win this campaign.
"That’s why the legal action launched by the four heroic councils is so crucial. I am honoured to have been asked to support their campaign, and will do all I can to ensure we win. I am confident we will."
In his final speech in the House of Commons, Goldsmith said expansion of the site was "doomed".
"I believe it will be a millstone around the government’s neck for many years to come—a constant source of delay, and of anger and betrayal among those people who will be directly affected.
"There are so many questions one could ask at a statement of this sort that I would not know where to begin, so I simply use this opportunity to put my absolute opposition on the record."
MPs are expected to take a final vote on a new runway at the West London airport next winter.