A group of parents concerned about toxic air pollution in Barnet have protested outside the office of an anti-ULEZ MP.

Theresa Villiers, the Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet, has been a staunch opponent of the London Mayor’s decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Barnet Mums for Lungs has now hit out at the “lack of leadership on toxic air”, claiming that this is fuelling “conspiracy theories”.

Children were among those who voiced their concerns outside Ms Villiers’ constituency office in High Street, Hadley yesterday afternoon (June 15).

Clean air groups have criticised the MP for campaigning against ULEZ, claiming that her opposition undermines the Environment Act she herself introduced as environment secretary in 2021.

Sara Hall, a mum from Barnet, said: “Our children are suffering while politicians play games.

“99% of areas in London breach the very air pollution guidelines that Theresa Villiers wants to see the UK meet through legislation she introduced in Parliament.

“Yet when we want to see leadership from our MPs, they are fuelling conspiracy theories and trying to block action that would save lives. 

“We urge them to think again about their moral responsibilities.”

Times Series: Barnet Mums for Lungs protest outside the office of Theresa Villiers MP yesterday (June 15)Barnet Mums for Lungs protest outside the office of Theresa Villiers MP yesterday (June 15) (Image: Mums for Lungs)

Barnet Council has said that research by Imperial College London shows that the borough had the second highest number of deaths from air pollution in the capital in 2019.

Earlier this year, one Mums for Lungs campaigner told this paper that she avoids busy roads because of her asthmatic son, and that London desperately needed ULEZ expansion

Elizabeth Wan, an NHS doctor, also voiced concerns about air pollution in north London.

She said: "As a doctor, I'm also really worried about the pollution my daughter is breathing in.

“Barnet has some of the highest levels of air pollution in London, but our local leaders are trying to block plans to tackle the illegal pollution which is damaging our children’s little lungs."

In May, former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers urged MPs to back a law change which would allow the government to intervene on decisions about transport and air quality.

She told the Commons: “In my 18 years as an MP … almost nothing has provoked such strong opposition as the Mayor of London’s plan to expand the ultra low emission zone.

“It comes up on almost every doorstep and at almost every meeting. People stop me in the street to tell me how strongly they feel about this, and over 50,000 have signed the Conservative petition.”