Lewisham West and Penge MP Jim Dowd is backing a campaign to ban wild animals in Britain’s circuses.

The Labour politician has joined Animal Defenders International, the pressure group spearheading the campaign to stop circuses from using wild species.

A new bill was introduced to ban such acts on Wednesday by his fellow Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick.

Mr Dowd said the unanimous vote in parliament over three years ago reflected the views of his constituents and people across Britain.

“I’ll continue to do all that I can to ensure that it becomes the law as soon as possible," he said.

"If this does not happen in this Parliamentary session then I’ll make it a substantial part of my campaign for next year’s General Election and will not rest until this barbarism has been stopped."

ADI President Jan Creamer said she hoped the new bill would finally end the suffering of lions, tigers and other wild animals in British circuses.

She said: “ADI is delighted to have the support of Jim Dowd MP on this important issue. A ban on the use of wild animals in circuses enjoys overwhelming political, and public, backing.”