A Clean Air Act must be introduced to expand lower emission zones, enable local authorities to plant more trees and prohibit idling, a Croydon MP told Parliament.

Conservative Chris Philp (Croydon South) said such legislation is "of vital importance to our nation's health", with his other ideas including more electric buses and taxis.

Introducing his Clean Air Bill, via the 10-minute rule motion process, Mr Philp said: "Evidence in 2016 showed 40,000 lives each year are cut short due to air pollution, and the joint select committee heard in 2018 that air pollution is the second largest avoidable cause of death in the UK after smoking."

Mr Philp added that cars parked outside schools with their engines on, also known as idling, are increasing cases of asthma.

The MP added: "My constituent Ella, who lived 80ft from the North Circular, died of asthma and acute respiratory failure, her mum Rosamund believed pollution was the cause of her death, a second inquest suggests Ella's mum was right."

Mr Philp added that whilst the Government's Clean Air Strategy is a positive step to solving decreasing pollution levels across the country, there is a great need for the Government to go further and a Clean Air Act must be passed.

The Government introduced a Clean Air Strategy earlier in 2019 to tackle air pollution across the UK.

Mr Philp said: "Nitrous oxide levels have reduced by 70% but the truth is we should do much more."

He added: "It is an inescapable fact that pollution levels in London are too high and I hope in the Queen's Speech this is recognised."