A Bill to require smoke alarms to be fitted in all rented homes was condemned as “nanny state” by an MP.

Shipley Conservative Philip Davies argued the legislation could “criminalise law-abiding, decent landlords” and reduce the numbers of properties available.

Mr Davies told MPs the move was “unnecessary”, because 82 per cent of privately-rented homes already have a smoke alarm. And he said: “The Labour party thinks that, whatever something is, it must be regulated, that there must be a law for it and that we must have more burdens and unnecessary regulations.”

But the Shipley MP faced cries of “shame” from the Labour benches, after describing himself as an “accidental landlord”, as well as a tenant.

The Bill was introduced by Labour's Nick Raynsford, who warned 2.5 million houses are not protected by a smoke detector – with the highest number private rented.

The Government’s own analysis showed people are four times more likely to die in a house blaze if they do not have a working smoke alarm.

Mr Raynsford said it was a commonsense measure.