Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

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Daily Mail climb down on future of transport article

You may have read the recent article about me on the Mail Online which stated that I was calling on the Government to ban private car ownership.

I have never thought and do not believe that individual car ownership should be banned. I was asked to write an article for the Guardian which explored long-term, future scenarios in transport policy. In the article I said that we need massive investment in public transport and a modal shift to cycling and walking. I also said that in the long term people might lease cars or use car clubs rather than predominantly pre-purchasing vehicles.

The Mail Online then published two articles which (amongst other spurious claims) stated that I was calling on the government to ban private car ownership. This article selectively quoted from the Guardian article, taking my initial thoughts wholly out of context. 

Following a complaint by me to the editor of the Mail Online, the website has now amended the articles and has removed some of the worst of their claims. There is still much to disagree about in articles but at least the Mail Online have acknowledged that the article is its previous state was misleading.

MPs such as me who have campaigned on green issues are regularly targeted by the right-wing media. Although their smear tactics are unpleasant, I will certainly not be silenced on the issues that I am passionate about and I will continue to stand up for what I believe in. 


UPDATE: The Daily Echo has now published a piece by me talking about the article in greater depth. You can read it here.

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