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DUP MPs vote against ban on smoking in cars carrying children

Ian Paisley Junior

Ian Paisley Junior

Smoking in cars carrying children will be banned in England and Wales after MPs last night decided overwhelmingly to approve the plan in a Commons vote.

Tory and Lib Dem MPs, who were given a free vote, joined forces with Labour MPs to approve the ban by 376 votes to 107, a majority of 269.

Northern Ireland MPs who voted for the ban were the SDLP’s Mark Durkan and Margaret Ritchie and Independent Lady Sylvia Hermon.

Two DUP MPs voted, both of them against the ban: Jeffrey Donaldson and Ian Paisley Junior. However, the issue remains a devolved matter in Northern Ireland where the Assembly will chart its own way forward.

Last night’s vote came after peers amended the Children and Families Bill to give the health secretary the power to impose a ban.

Despite opposition from some Tories – including Cabinet members – MPs decided to uphold the change to the legislation made by peers last month.

Earlier, Health Minister Jane Ellison told MPs: “In the event that legislation is to be brought in to stop smoking in cars carrying children, we should not measure success by the number of enforcement actions.

“We should measure success by the reduction in exposure to second-hand smoke.”

Amendments which prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to under 18s, introduce a ban on proxy buying for minors, and allow the Government to bring in legislation on plain packaging were also approved.

 

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