Rishi Sunak disappointed smoking ban will not become law

Rishi Sunak disappointed smoking ban will not become law

Rishi Sunak disappointed smoking ban will not become law

Rishi Sunak disappointed smoking ban will not become law

Rishi Sunak says he is “disappointed” his bill banning young people from ever being able to smoke legally will not pass before the general election.\

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill, external is not included in the legislation being rushed through by MPs ahead of Parliament shutting down on Friday.


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Selling tobacco to anyone born after 1 January 2009 would have become illegal.

But Mr Sunak said the bill was “evidence of the bold action that I’m prepared to take”.

“That’s the type of prime minister I am. That’s the type of leadership that I bring.

“I stepped up to do something that is bold, that will make an enormous difference in the future of our country.”

Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “If Rishi Sunak’s idea of bold leadership is to crumble before his party and surrender his landmark smoking bill, it’s no wonder the country is in such a mess.”

Labour remained committed to the policy and would “make sure that young people today are even less likely to smoke than they are to vote Tory”, he added.

Speaking to reporters on a flight from Belfast. the prime minister did not promise a ban would feature in the Conservative manifesto, but he said he remained “very committed” to it.

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The issue has been controversial for some Conservatives, who have described it as an attack on personal choice.

Announcing the election in Downing Street on Wednesday, the prime minister promised to “ensure that the next generation grows up smoke free”.

But speaking in Belfast as he continued his campaign tour of the UK, he said: “There’s always a normal process at the end of a Parliament to see which legislation you can pass in the time that’s available.”

On the smoking ban, he said he was “of course disappointed not to be able to get that through at the end of the session given the time available”.

The Renters Reform Bill, which was expected to pave the way for an end to no-fault evictions in England, will also fall by the wayside, despite the measure appearing in the Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto.

Labour’s shadow housing minister Matthew Pennycook said: “The Tories’ decision to cave in to vested interests and abandon their already weakened Renters Reform Bill leaves in tatters the promises they made to private tenants five years ago.”

‘Making progress’

The prime minister highlighted the passing of legislation to quash the convictions of hundreds of sub-postmasters caught up in the Post Office Horizon scandal.

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill will receive royal assent on Parliament’s final sitting day ahead of the election on 4 July, a period known at Westminster as “wash-up”.

This involves intensive negotiations between government and opposition whips to establish which bills can be passed in the time remaining.

The Victims and Prisoners Bill, which paves the way for compensation to be paid to the victims of the contaminated blood scandal, later cleared both the Commons and the Lords.

Mr Sunak said: “I’m pleased that yesterday we got the Horizon Bill through to make sure that we can deliver compensation and justice to the postmasters who were so badly impacted by what I described as one of the worst miscarriages of justice that we’ve ever known.

“Today we’ll be debating the bills that will ensure that the compensation authority for those impacted by the infected blood scandal get the justice that they deserve. So we are making progress.”

On Thursday, the prime minister said no asylum seekers would be sent to Rwanda under the government’s deportation scheme before the election.

Flights would take off “if I’m re-elected”, he said. Labour has pledged to scrap the plan if it wins power, describing it as a “con from start to finish”.


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