14/08/2014 12:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

MP Calls For Benefit Cuts For Parents Who Refuse MMR Jab

Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, has said that parents should have their benefits cut if they fail to give their children the MMR jab.

His idea - currently the law in Australia - would mean mums and dads would have to prove their kids had been vaccinated before they were given financial help.

His comments were not 'on-message' though, as his colleagues rushed to disassociate themselves from his views.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls told ITV's Daybreak programme there was 'no question' of a Labour government ever taking child benefit away or 'punishing parents for choices they make on vaccinations'.

"I don't know where that came from. It is not our policy. It is on the front of the newspapers but it is not true," he said. "We would never say child benefit is conditional on taking a jab."

Cruddas's comments are thought to have come about after it was revealed uptake of the MMR vaccine had dropped to low levels in some areas.

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