The Government should consider making it a criminal offence to impersonate a court amid fears Sharia law courts could be operating around the country, an MP has said.

Shipley MP Philip Davies is demanding answers from ministers after reports that Sharia law courts were operating in Dewsbury. He fears if courts are operational in parts of West Yorkshire, there could be some in Bradford.

He said: "And if there are, they should be closed down and a crime created for impersonating a court. It is completely unacceptable that people do not abide by British law - there is no excuse for not doing so."

A national newspaper reported that the Dewsbury court is called the Sharee Council - another term for Sharia - and operates as a Muslim judiciary making decisions by which attendees must abide.

Istiaq Ahmed, of Bradford Council of Mosques, said he was not aware of any Sharia law courts in Bradford.

Rashid Awan, president of the Pakistan Society of West Yorkshire, said Sharia law courts would not work in Britain and were not a good thing.