TORY MP Rebecca Harris’s bid to have Britain’s clocks changed to make evenings lighter has won the backing of Britain’s major sporting organisations.

The Football Association, Lawn Tennis Association and England and Wales Cricket Board are among more than 300 bodies to throw their weight behind the Conservative MP’s proposals, called double summertime, which would mean lighter evenings and darker mornings.

The groups are backing the plans because it will allow both amateur and professional athletes more time in the evenings to devote to their chosen pastimes.

Mrs Harris, who has tabled a Private Member’s Bill on the issue in the Commons, said: “It will give people more time to do things in the evening instead of staying at home and watching TV.

“It’s not just sports, it’s fantastic for gardeners and all sorts of other outdoor hobbies.”

The Castle Point MP is calling for a cross-department Government review of the pros and cons of bringing clocks forward by two hours in the summer. Alternatively, Britain could be put permanently in the same time zone as most of continental Europe.

However, a major stumbling block could be support in Scotland, where the sun would not rise until 10am in winter.

The proposals were trialled in the Seventies but abandoned over fears of increased accidents on Scottish roads in the morning. Mrs Harris said: “The big challenge is to convince Scotland. It won’t happen without their support.

Double summer time is also supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, which estimates that lighter evenings could save hundreds of lives a year by reducing the number of evening traffic accidents.

The proposal will receive a second reading at the House of Commons on December 3. If more than 100 MPs back them, a further debate will be held.