Call to ease curbs on Sunday trading hours

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Trading hours for retailers should be relaxed during major sporting events and in the run up to Christmas, one of the region’s MPs has claimed.

Shipley MP Philip Davies claimed that Sunday trading hours should be extended during the likes of the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games as a mean of giving a much-needed boost to high street retailers.

The Conservative MP called for a permanent abolition of the restrictions but initially asked for a relaxation in a similar vein to that which happened during the 2012 London Olympics.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said the debate “is undoubtedly happening” within Government.

During business questions, Mr Davies pointed to the strong benefits retailers experienced during the Olympics.

He said: “Given that during the Olympic Games sales increased by 2.8 per cent in London and 6.2 per cent outside of London as a result of the relaxation of the Sunday trading laws will you consider a further relaxation?

“Perhaps during the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, and the run-up to Christmas.

“Or even better still abolish the restrictions altogether to help bricks and mortar retailers compete with those trading online?”

Mr Hancock replied: “In a world in which increasing amounts of trade happen online at a time that’s convenient for people and for consumers, we relaxed the rules during the Olympics and we said at that time that we’d make an assessment of the impact of that, which is a debate which is undoubtedly happening.”