MP Philip Davies has defended his controversial decision to speak for over 50 minutes against a bill that would require schools to teach first aid.

The Shipley Conservative said his lengthy speech was based on concerns raised by schools in his constituency.

Mr Davies spoke against the private members' bill, which would have made it compulsory for secondary schools to teach first aid, for 52 minutes on Friday.  Ultimately the bill was unsuccessful after Mr Davies and other members spoke for so long the session ended before a vote could be taken.

Mr Davies has been criticised by other MPs and groups including St John Ambulance, who accused him of "filibustering" - deliberately talking for so long that no time remains for a vote.

Earlier this month the Conservative MP faced similar criticism for speaking for almost 90 minutes against a bill that would have given carers free parking at hospitals.

But Mr Davies told the Telegraph & Argus: "I contacted all the secondary schools in my constituency and in the debate I referenced the concerns they had about making first aid compulsory.

"Schools can already teach first aid if they want to. They should make the decision rather than have it forced on them by Whitehall.

"You look at schools in Bradford and they are struggling with English and maths without having to set aside time to teach first aid. I think the decision should be made on a school by school basis. We should be encouraging children to learn these skills in girl guides or scouts."

On the claims of filibustering, he said: "I have what I wanted to say, and it takes as long as it takes.

"The session was originally meant to last for five hours, but Labour MPs reduced the time it had by 75 minutes so other issues could be debated later on.

"The fact that not even 100 MPs out of 650 showed up to this bill showed it did not have full support."