Setback for Morgan's sunbed ban campaign; Rival MP tables a new amendment.
A CARDIFF MP's campaign to ban teenagers using tanning salons suffered a setback last night after a rival politician insisted more debate was needed on the details of the legislation.
A Private Member's Bill from Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan has gained widespread support from all political parties, and was due to clear its final Commons hurdle yesterday.
But Christopher Chope, the Conservative MP for Christchurch, has tabled a new amendment relating to EU targets for emissions from tanning salons - meaning a new debate needs to be held on March 12.
With a general election looming and the Bill also needing to go through the House of Lords, Ms Morgan now faces a race against time if her idea it to make it to the statute book.
She told the Echo: "Not all is lost but it is a setback because we are losing two weeks. He [Mr Chope] has not said he is going to vote against it, and says it won't take long to discuss his amendment, so we can only cross our fingers."
The points raised by Mr Chope were being addressed by separate health and safety regulations, Ms Morgan pointed out.
The ban has gained widespread support outside Parliament, with backing from figures as diverse as Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts, the Cabinet and the British Medical Association.
Calls for changes to the law were prompted by the case of teenager Kirsty McRae, who was admitted to hospital after using an unmanned salon in Barry. The 14-year-old suffered 70% first-degree burns after spending 19 minutes on a sunbed.
Ms Morgan added: "I'm very disappointed we didn't manage to get it through because so close to the election those two weeks could be crucial. We are working desperately to do what we can."
A total of 212 MPs signed a Commons motion supporting Ms Morgan's Bill, which would also ban coin-operated tanning salons.
Baroness Finlay of Llandaf has pledged to steer the Bill through the Lords if it finally clears the Commons on March 12.
Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK's head of policy, said: "We urge the Government to do all it can to move the Bill forward so we have a law in place before the election."
Under the legislation, tanning salons that breach the new rules would face fines of up to pounds 20,000.