March 16 2014 Latest news:
Annabelle Dickson, Political Editor
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Health minister Norman Lamb has given his backing to a new law banning people from smoking in cars carrying children.
He is set to vote for the move in a Commons vote on Monday where all MPs will have their say without dictation from their party.
Mr Lamb said he had backed a ban for some time, and within five or 10 years it would seem incomprehensible that people could smoke in front of children.
He said: “I am an enthusiastic support of it as a liberal. It is a measure which is designed to protect children who aren’t in a position to protect themselves.
“It’s not just about parents - it is about anyone carrying children in a car. I might be someone giving a child a lift to school.
“I just think it is about establishing a social norm which in five or 10 years’ time we will think ‘did we really think it was OK to smoke in front of a child?”
The vote comes as the Children and Families Bill returns to the Commons. The 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.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has expressed support for the ban, although Deputy Prime Nick Clegg has said he did not agree with it as it would be unenforceable.