Why Meg Howarth has campaigned so relentlessly in Islington for 36 years

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 December 2017

Meg Howarth. Picture: Polly Hancock

Meg Howarth. Picture: Polly Hancock


Meg Howarth is a relentless Islington campaigner and prolific Gazette letter writer. It got us thinking – who is she?

If any Islington politician – or even the Gazette – makes a slip-up, you can bet Meg will be the first to expose it on her Twitter account.

Meg, of Ellington Street in Lower Holloway, moved to Islington as a student from the north in the late 1970s.

Her will to expose hypocrisy and injustice comes from an Islington Town Hall meeting with a councillor in 1981.

“I remember being unhappy,” she recalls, ominously. “I was there to discuss how a council tenant was being treated badly. I didn’t get anywhere and it left an impression. I remember the councillor saying: ‘That’s not your concern.’ It was like: ‘Here we go!’ It sparked me into what I am today.

“It showed me how certain groups of people are not treated with respect they deserve. It absolutely remains the case today. You only have to look at the Grenfell Tower disaster, and also the outrageous treatment survivors have received.”

Unsurprisingly, Meg has been involved in a number of community campaigns over the years.

“My proudest achievement is helping save the trees in Farringdon Road, outside the old Guardian newspaper office, about 10 years ago.

“They made a planning application which would have brought the building forward and removed the trees: 10 plane trees planted by Alec Forshaw, an Islington conservation officer.

“I got down there on my bicycle and started a protest. We had a magnificent campaign with massive support from the Peabody Estate off Farringdon Lane. What it taught me was to scrutinise any planning application that sparks interest.”

She roars with laughter when asked for her thoughts on the current Islington Council administation. “As far as I can see, it’s better than most local authorities.

“Having only one opposition councillor (Caroline Russell) is not helpful, though. There are too many party political Labour shenanigans. I’m not a member of any party – never have been, never will.

“But when I attended last week’s full council meeting, I thought the way two councillors were speaking to Cllr Russell was appalling – particularly regarding cycling.

“It’s partly why I think the letters pages of the local press are so important. More people should be involved in the democratic process.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories


The long-running dispute between the senior coroner for inner north London, Mary Hassell and the area’s Jewish and Muslim communities might be coming to an end, as the decision will be given tomorrow on her refusal to prioritise burials.


A PR firm staffed by former journalists – including the Gazette’s one-time food editor – was one of two Islington businesses to scoop a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise on Saturday.


Ukip’s Pete Muswell wanted to take part in the Gazette’s hustings on Monday. We said no. It would have been unfair when he is one of only two Ukip candidates in the May 3 local elections – while the four main parties are fielding a full slate of candidates.


A man has been arrested and bailed in connection with the death of Kwasi Anim-Boadu on the Andover Estate last weekend as the murder investigation continues.

Yesterday, 16:27

More than 150 Islington Council candidates will fail to win a seat in next week’s local elections. But, statistically speaking, at least one of them will go on to become an MP.

Yesterday, 15:15

New electric trains set to grace the Gospel Oak to Barking line have been delayed by three months – some going, even for London Overground.

Yesterday, 13:25

A historic Islington estate is getting 19 affordable homes in a new block.

Yesterday, 09:06

It’s not just Arsene Wenger leaving Islington at the end of the season.


“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now