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.”

Latest Islington News Stories


A former police office and Stoke Newington RAF cadet is now serving his country in another way – after his call handling start-up app was given permission to be contracted by the government.

Yesterday, 20:06

A man in his 40s is in hospital after being stabbed in Stroud Green this morning.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The curtain could finally be raised on a forgotten 400-seat underground theatre beneath Islington Green – a decade after it was built.

Friday, August 17, 2018

A popular Blackstock Road boozer was reportedly ordered to close on Wednesday because of an ongoing licensing dispute.

Friday, August 17, 2018

City and Islington College (CANDI) students are “over the moon” after bagging places at some of the “world’s best universities” on an emotional A-level results day.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Crew members at Islington Fire Station raised £316 for a “wonderful” cause by hosting a charity car wash.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cheery 236 bus driver Nelson Campos tells the Gazette why he loves his current route between Islington and Hackney – and reminisced about working for the home office, courts and the police.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The headteacher of North Bridge House Senior Canonbury has lauded the efforts of his students on A-level results day.


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

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