The Government has been urged to implement the World Health Organisation's air quality targets following the "shocking" death of Ella Kissi-Debrah in Lewisham.

Labour MP Tony Lloyd (Rochdale) said the death of nine-year-old Ella, which a coroner deemed was caused by air pollution, is "a public scandal" and called for ministers to accept all the recommendations made in a report into the case.

On Wednesday a coroner called for a change in the law surrounding air quality after the death of the schoolgirl, who lived near the South Circular Road in Lewisham, south-east London, in 2013.

Ella Kissi-Debrah

Ella Kissi-Debrah

In his report, coroner Phillip Barlow said there is "no safe level of particulate matter" in the air and called for national pollution limits to be reduced.

Speaking during environment departmental questions in the Commons, Mr Lloyd warned ministers they are "putting the lives of our children at risk" by not acting.

He said: "The death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah was a family tragedy but what made this a public scandal was when the coroner decided some time ago that her death was caused by air pollution. This is shocking.

"He decided yesterday in his most recent report that there is no safe level of air pollution and has called upon the Government to bring our air quality standards to the level of the World Health Organisation-recommended levels, a significant reduction in pollution.

"Can the minister tell the House does the Government accept this recommendation? Because, if not, we are literally putting the lives of our children at risk."

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said the Government is taking the issue "extremely seriously" and will respond to the report "in due course".

Ella Kissi-Debrah

Ella Kissi-Debrah

Shadow environment minister Ruth Jones said: "The coroner has given a clear recommendation and clearly stated that it will save lives, so when will the minister commit to a particulate matter 2.5 target being set at least in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines?"

Ms Pow replied: "I thank her for that and, of course, I think what that highlights is there is no safe limit for PM 2.5 and that is why it is so important that we get it right.

"That is why we are taking so much advice on it and, actually, the WHO has acclaimed our clean air strategy as world leading and an example for all of the world to follow."

She added that the Government "will give this all the attention that it deserves".

But Mr Lloyd called for urgent "proper action" from the Government.

He told the Commons: "In an earlier exchange about air quality, the minister seemed to suggest that because there was no safe level of air pollution in the way it affects particularly our children's lungs, that that was a reason for rejecting a move to make legal the World Health Organisation standards.

"This is, of course, patent nonsense.

"Isn't it time now to take proper action and not simply hear fine words? Action now ministers, please."

Environment Secretary George Eustice replied: "I am not sure that is what (Rebecca Pow) said earlier, but it is the case... she was making the point that if there is no safe limit of particulate matter and PM 2.5, what we should actually be doing is focusing on additional measures such as overall population exposure.

"That is indeed something that we are looking at through our target-setting process in the Environment Bill."