The Conservative Party has come out in support of the challenge to the tobacco display ban launched yesterday by Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International.

Shadow health minister Mike Penning told the National Federation of Retail Newsagents he was concerned about the legality of the government’s display ban, due to come into force from October next year.

Yesterday Imperial and JTI were joined by British American Tobacco and a clutch of small retailers in their application for a judicial review of the proposed ban.

"I am not a lawyer but I have always been concerned whether the government's legislation on this is legal,” said Penning. “Therefore a challenge by way of a judicial review seems a sensible thing to do."

He said that if the Conservatives were elected they would bring the issue before Parliament.

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