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Smoking in cars vote on Monday

07 Feb 2014 at 09:33

MPs will vote next Monday on whether to ban smoking in cars carrying children, but there are concerns such measures could distract the police from more important crimes.

The Children and Families Bill was amended in the House of Lords last week after Labour tabled an amendment which would give the Health Secretary the power to make it illegal to smoke in a car carrying children. On Wednesday, peers accepted a Government-backed version of the amendment.

Now the Commons will vote on the plan, with Transport minister Robert Goodwill vowing to vote in favour of the ban. He says he was forced to sit in the back of a car as a child while his father smoked.

Tory MP David Nuttall (Bury North), however, said the ban could divert the attention of the police away from more serious road offences.

Mr Nuttall asked Mr Goodwill: "Do you share my concern that expecting the police to enforce the proposed new offence of smoking in cars with children will divert them away from other duties which will impact more directly on motorway safety?"

Mr Goodwill replied: "There will be a free vote on Monday on that particular subject.

"I will be certainly voting myself to ban smoking in cars where children are - having at a young age to sit in the back of a car feeling very green and car sick while my father was puffing away."

Copyright Press Association 2014