MPs want tougher rules on junk-food spots

Almost 200 MPs have signed a motion calling for a 9pm watershed for junk-food commercials on TV, and a total ban on non-broadcast ads for unhealthy food and drink aimed at children.

The backing for the Food Products (Marketing to Children) Bill, introduced by the former consumer affairs minister Nigel Griffiths, came as MPs prepared to give the measure a second reading this Friday (25 April).

It is unclear whether the Private Member's Bill will secure enough Parliamentary time to become law.

But the show of support will put pressure on ministers to enforce rules on ads for products high in fat, sugar and salt.The motion has been signed by 192 MPs, including 128 Labour members, 41 Liberal Democrats and 20 Tories.

The Bill would make it an offence, punishable by an unlimited fine, to run a broadcast ad for a "less healthy" food and drink before 9pm and to target any non-broadcast ad for such a product at children.