A Suffolk MP has called on parliament to protect the public from 'cowboy' builders, who he says are wrecking homes and stealing thousands.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter wants to implement new legislation to crack down on rogue builders.

Speaking in Parliament, Dr Poulter said: "We have some excellent builders here in Suffolk, but there are a few cowboy individuals and firms whose actions damage the reputation of the building industry and leave customers with their homes wrecked and thousands of pounds out of pocket.

"Customers need a safeguard against the, often devastating, consequences of unsuspectingly hiring poorly qualified and unscrupulous construction firms, which is why I am calling on the government to act."

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Dr Poulter asked the government to consider a licensing scheme for builders, so the individual builder is held more directly liable, not just the building firm.

Pointing to the fact that some rogue builders will go into liquidation to avoid potential litigation, sometimes setting up multiple companies to do so, he is calling on greater protection for the public.

He said the only redress for consumers currently is to take legal action but, as the Small Claims Court only covers claims of up to £10,000, the legal costs are inaccessible to many people.

Dr Poulter added: "Reliable and professional building firms, who depend on their good reputation, like the clients they serve, would also benefit from simple licencing laws that demonstrate, beyond doubt, that their firm is legitimate and that the workers within it are both honest and qualified to carry out the work."