It’s been reported that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is understood to be ready to support a ban on smoking in cars with children, despite opposition to the move from senior figures, including Eric Pickles and Ken Clarke. The Government has offered a free vote on the ban, which is supported by the Labour front bench.
Last week Peers defeated the Government in the House of Lords by a vote of 222 to 197 meaning the amendment will be voted on in the House of Commons. Labour wants to see the creation of a specific offence for those caught smoking in cars carrying children, claiming the move will help to save lives. A ban is already in place in parts of the world including some states in America, Australia, Canada and a few countries in Europe. Labour claim they have the public behind them citing a YouGov poll from 2011 that found 78% of adults in Great Britain agreeing that smoking should be banned in cars carrying children younger than 18 years of age, while 44% agreed that smoking should be banned in all cars.
Gary from PSI: MPs will be given a free vote when the Children and Families Bill returns to the Commons shortly. Many Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – including Nick Clegg – remain opposed. Clegg has argued that the law would “subcontract responsible parenting to the state”.