Moves to ban smoking in public parks "are nonsense”, UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall has said today.
"What a gross infringement of people's liberties and where will it end? There is already a rapidly diminishing number of places were people can smoke, which must go against the rights of personal freedom.
"I don't want to encourage anyone, particularly children, to smoke but we live in a free society and banning smoking in public parks will make no difference to whether kids take up the habit or not."
Mr Nuttall was speaking following support for such a ban by Sally Davies, chief medical officer in the wake of a report by former Labour minister Lord Darzi.
"The report has been commissioned in relation to London parks and as well as the parks it recommends a smoking ban in areas such as Trafalgar Square. Who on earth is going to enforce such an order?
"Will legions of jobsworths be marching through our parks and tourist sites or will more PCSO's be taken on, at a time of budget cuts?
"It has been described as a blueprint for the whole country, which I regard as very worrying and as more unwanted nannying behaviour by those intent on restricting our personal freedoms.
"Smoking is in the gunsights today but with obesity now a massive problem in this country does it mean we will soon be banned from eating fast food in parks and public areas?" said Paul Nuttall, North West MEP.