MP Geoff Hoon banned from Latitude

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon has been banned from attending this year's Latitude, it has been revealed.

The festival's boss, Melvin Benn, has stopped the Labour MP from attending because of the minister's involvement with the go-ahead for a third runway at Heathrow.

Speaking about the ban Benn told The Guardian: "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.

"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.

"Of course, if he reverses on the runway and starts implementing low carbon transport solutions he'll get a ticket for life."

Latitude focuses strongly on green issues and the event was given The Greener Festival Award in 2008.

The award is based on a seven-part questionnaire which covers event management, travel and transport plans, CO2 emissions, fair trade, waste management and recycling, water management and noise pollution.

Points are awarded for festivals which can show an active plan to promote public transport, reduce on-site waste, recycle and compost wherever possible, re-use water and use sustainable power.

Latitude 2009 will take place at Henham Park, Suffolk from 16-19 June.