Labour MP Geoff Hoon banned from Latitude festival

Transport Secretary banned by organiser over green issues

Geoff Hoon MP, Secretary of State for Transport, has been banned from attending the 2009 Latitude festival.

Melvin Benn, head of Latitude organisers Festival Republic, said that Hoon was banned because he believed the MP’s stance on the forthcoming new runway at Heathrow Airport clashed with the festival’s green ethos.

Hoon has previously been a regular at the Southwold bash, set to take place on July 16-19 this year.

“Every year since we started Latitude, Geoff Hoon has been seen striding across the fields in his shorts to the puzzled amazement of our slightly younger crowd,” Benn told The Guardian.

He added, “But as we get a reputation as one of the greenest festivals on the circuit, it would be a bit strange to sell a ticket to a chap who’s just authorised a climate-wrecking new runway at Heathrow and who apparently thinks climate change is ‘Tree-hugging hoolah’, whatever that is.

The festival chief did, however, say that Hoon could redeem himself. “Of course, if he reverses on the runway and starts implementing low carbon transport solutions he’ll get a ticket for life,” he said.