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Health laws a ‘music hall joke’

Health laws a ‘music hall joke’

A former Cabinet Minister leading a review into health and safety law has said he wants to prevent the legislation becoming a "music hall joke".

Lord Young told BBC Breakfast that a "nanny state" had "really" developed over the past 10 to 12 years.

The former minister, who will lead a Whitehall-wide review, said: "There is no question, in any dangerous occupation, in any place where people are in danger, health and safety rules will apply.

"But there are so many parts of life where it is an absolute nonsense. If there were still music halls, it would be a music hall joke."

Some of the health and safety examples that the former trade and industry secretary under Margaret Thatcher listed included a pancake race where contestants were asked to walk as it had been raining and the banning of toothpicks in restaurants.

He added another example of a school where pupils were taught to put on make-up but were told they could not use wipes to remove it because of health and safety.

He added that bureaucracy surrounding health and safety had risen "alarmingly", with teachers refusing to take pupils on school trips because of the red tape they have to deal with before going.

Lord Young is expected to report to Downing Street in the summer.

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