Independent newsagents have enlisted a West Midlands MP in the battle against the ban on tobacco displays.

Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt told the National Council of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) that the proposal was "a manifestation of a nanny state".

"Tobacco is a legal product so this proposal is illogical," she said. "The government needs to make buying tobacco for a minor illegal, just as it is for alcohol, and more resources should be devoted to clamping down on tobacco smuggling."

Burt's support comes despite her revelation to retailers at an ACS conference last year that she "felt in my heart" that tobacco products should be concealed at the point of sale.

Speaking after the NFRN meeting, Birmingham newsagent Parminder Singh said: "We were pleased that Ms Burt listened so closely to all our concerns and that she has spoken so forcefully against the proposal to ban tobacco displays.

"NFRN members are supportive of efforts to stop young people smoking, but we do not believe that banning tobacco displays will achieve this," he said.