Volunteers 'should face reduced risk of prosecution'

Conservative MP Jeremy Wright says they the law should be lenient if volunteering leads to accidents

People who do voluntary work for the benefit of their local communities should face a reduced risk of prosecution if their activities lead to accidents, according to a Conservative MP.

Jeremy Wright, MP for Rugby and Kenilworth, has lodged a 10-minute rule bill that would amend the 2006 Compensation Act to create a presumption against legal action against a person carrying out a "desirable activity".

A spokesman for Wright said the intention was to make it easier for people, for example, to attempt to clear snow from pavements in front of their houses without worrying that they would face legal action if people slipped on any resulting ice.

He said it would apply to people volunteering for charities because it was important not to deter them from being community-spirited.

"I hope this change would bring back common sense and encourage more people to help others," he said.

Wright will present the bill today. Ten-minute rule bills rarely become law and are used mainly to gain publicity for an issue.

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