An MP whose father’s grave has been desecrated by scrap metal thieves has warned them they will regret their actions.

The memorial plaque to David Barwell, father of Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell, was discovered to be missing from Beckenham Cemetery by his mother Jennifer on Wednesday, May 23.

Mr Barwell lashed out at the offenders on Twitter shortly afterwards.

He said: “To the scumbag who took the plaque from my Dad's grave: if I ever find out who you are, you are going to regret it.”

Mr Barwell’s father died in 2005.

He said: “When you lose something through theft it is bad, but when it is something that has strong emotional attachment it is all the more painful.

“With these kinds of thefts it is not just the person who takes the plaque, it is the person who bought it, there is no way they don’t know what they are buying.”

Mr Barwell, who was elected to the House of Commons in 2010, told the Croydon Guardian earlier this week he was considering raising the issue of scrap metal theft as a private members bill.

However, he said he would not allow the incident involving his father to cloud his decision.

He said: “It is already something that is a huge issue both in Croydon and across the country. I won’t let this decide for me though.”

It is believed the memorial could have been stolen a fortnight ago and Mr Barwell said Beckenham Cemetery have promised to replace the plaque.