Health watchdog NICE has come under fire from Euro-MP Godfrey Bloom about plans to introduce tests for pregnant women to check if they are smoking.

The MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire said: “Everyone knows it isn’t wise for pregnant women to smoke - and that includes mums-to-be.

“The proposals to test carbon monoxide levels may not be compulsory but nevertheless they will undermine trust between patient and midwife and some women may feel pressurised into taking it, at the very time pressure is the last thing they need.

“Encouraging them not to smoke is one thing but testing is a step too far.

“If NICE want to help pregnant women they would be better pushing for more midwives as there is a worrying shortage of them and that potentially creates a much greater risk for patients.”