Labour would reignite smoking ban, shadow minister says

Labour would revive Rishi Sunak’s plans to ban young people from ever being able to legally smoke after they failed to become law ahead of the General Election, a shadow minister has said.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill was not included in the legislation that was rushed through by MPs ahead of Parliament being prorogued on Friday, during a period known as “wash-up.”

Asked if Labour would reintroduce it, shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall said: “If we’re elected we will make that happen and make it less likely that young people will smoke than vote Tory.”

The Prime Minister, who surprised many in Westminster by calling a summer election earlier this week, said he was “disappointed” that the law would not make it on to the statute books before the July 4 vote.

The Bill would make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born after January 1 2009, with the aim of creating a “smoke-free” generation, and had been seen as a key test of his personal legacy.

Speaking to reporters on the campaign trail on Friday, he said the legislation was “evidence of the bold action that I’m prepared to take”.

He added: “That’s the type of Prime Minister I am. That’s the type of leadership that I bring.”