MPs have backed a council’s bid to ban spitting on the streets and make it a criminal offence.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles agreed with Enfield Council that the practice is “deeply anti-social”.
The London borough applied to Mr Pickles to be given provisional approval to bring in a by-law to bring a stop to spitting in public “without reasonable excuse” and the council has now been given the go-ahead to proceed.
The council’s cabinet member for environment Councillor Chris Bond said: “This is a victory for the people of Enfield who were overwhelmingly in favour of a ban on spitting in this borough.
“It is an awful and disgusting habit and I’m delighted we can now get on with banning this filthy practice. I hope other local authorities will now follow suit.
“Our campaign to end this practice has resonated with people all over the United Kingdom and we’ve had a number of other councils contact us and say they are considering a similar ban.”
A month-long period of consultation will take place before Mr Pickles is then asked to confirm the by-law. It would come into force one month after confirmation.
Mr Pickles said: “Spitting is a deeply anti-social and unpleasant practice. Spitting on Britain’s streets is not socially acceptable.
“In light of the cross-party support and backing of ruling and opposition groups, we are giving the go-ahead to new powers for Enfield Council to tackle these localised problems.”
The new by-law would be enforced by magistrates’ courts.
Provisional approval had previously been granted to Doncaster Council to also ban spitting on the streets, but Enfield would be the first London borough to bring in the by-law.