Major smoking ban update as Rishi Sunak bill could be stubbed out

A landmark smoking ban could be stubbed out completely, as it won't through Parliament before the General Election

Rishi Sunak had promised to prevent anyone born after 2009 from legally smoking by gradually raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes. The Prime Minister promised that the Conservatives would "ensure that the next generation grows up smoke free" when he called the election on Wednesday. He had also hoped to restrict colourful, disposable vapes.

But the Tobacco and Vapes Bill was not on the short list of bills being rushed through before Parliament before MPs are sent home for the election campaign on Friday. It puts the key element of Mr Sunak's political legacy in jeopardy.

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Plans to introduce an independent football regulator, greater protections for renters and leasehold reforms also appear unlikely to make it onto the statute book in time - although crunch talks between Labour and the Government were ongoing on Thursday.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt said there would be time for the Victims and Prisoners Bill, which contains key provisions to offer compensation to victims of the Infected Blood scandal. Legislation to ensure Post Office scandal victims get compensation are also expected to be pushed through. Ms Mordaunt told the Commons the final list of Bills to progress was still being negotiated.

Labour's Lucy Powell said: "His (Rishi Sunak's) abrupt dissolution of Parliament means he will start the campaign leaving many government commitments and Bills up in the air or in the bin."

"His pledge on a smoke-free generation, plan for a football regulator, promises to renters and leaseholders and protections for our broadcasters are now all at risk. I'm pleased that very important commitments to the victims of the Post Office and infected blood scandals will be honoured in our final business this week."

The PM's General Election announcement means the parliamentary session will come to an end. A "wash up" period is taking place on Thursday and Friday to rush through any legislation currently passing through Parliament.

Labour peer Lord Lipsey said: "I have been working at one end or other of this House for more than 50 years. I've just calculated that I've done 11 wash-ups. They're always a bloody mess and they always will be a bloody mess, unless the procedure is properly revised."