BIDFORD and SHIPSTON MP Nadhim Zahawi said he would have voted for the smoking ban when children are present in cars, had he been able to.

Last week MPs backed calls for a ban on smoking in cars in England and Wales when children are passengers voting in favour of a Labour-supported amendment to the Children and Families Bill by a majority of 269.

Mr Zahawi was unable to attend the vote due to a long-standing commitment but said he would have voted for it if he was able to.

"Passive smoking is hugely dangerous, especially for children," he said. "They have little choice in their surroundings and smokers often do not have the will power not to smoke around them.

"Therefore as a parent I believe that it is right to protect children from the damage that passive smoking can inflict.

"If implemented then the natural social pressure associated with a ban will act as an extra incentive for smokers to stub out their cigarettes around children.”

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was also unable to attend the vote on a long planned Parliamentary visit to Brussels.