FIRST cousin marriage should be banned to protect children from serious health issues, MP Philip Davies has told Parliament.

Mr Davies, whose constituency covers Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston, said not enough is being done to tackle the issue for fear it might offend communities.

He added: "Given the severe medical conditions that are caused by first cousin marriages, is it not about time the Government considered the only proper solution to this, which is outlawing first cousin marriage in this country?" he told the House of Commons.

Mr Davies previously criticised the Government for failing to clamp down on first cousin marriage and urged it to focus on the genetic effects consanguineous marriage has on children born to relations and its cost to the NHS, rather than any concern change may cause offence.

Health Minister Jane Ellison said the issue is "quite complex", there were "localised challenges" and some specialist clinicians are looking at the issue across the area.

She added such a change of law would not be for The Department of Health.