NEW proposals for laws surrounding illegal traveller encampments have delighted Mark Francois.

Mr Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, who has campaigned for several years to introduce the 'Irish Option', is pleased with the announcement.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, announced over the weekend, that if the government is re-elected, they will introduce the Irish Option, which gives police the power to arrest and seize caravans if travellers set up camp on public land.

Mark Francois, who in 2018, led a group of 60 Conservative MPs to lobby cabinet ministers to adopt the laws which are currently in place in the Republic of Ireland.

The MP said: "As someone who has campaigned for years for tougher laws on travellers and specifically, for the Government to adopt the ‘Irish Option’, I am absolutely delighted that our new Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, who lives in Essex and is very familiar with the history of this problem, has acted decisively to confirm that the Conservatives will introduce this tough new law, if they are re-elected into Government.

"For years, I have dealt with numerous frustrated constituents, who have had to deal with illegal traveller incursions and the one thing I have heard them say, again and again, is that the law should apply equally to both members of the travelling and the settled community.

"This change in the law will help to bring that about, and while many travellers are law abiding, this will give the police robust powers to deal with those who are not.

"This is an absolute victory for common sense, and I would like to commend the Home Secretary for her courage in advocating this vital change.”