Downing Street plays down Chinese lantern 'ban'

Calls by the Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron for a ban on Chinese lanterns have been played down by Downing Street, in the wake of the Smethwick fire.

"The actual number of fires caused by Chinese lanterns is very small," a No 10 spokesman said.

"It is important that we always ensure that there is a proportionate response to any event and we always look at safety matters and make sure they are kept at the top of our concerns."

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Smethwick blaze CCTV released

West Midlands Fire Service has released CCTV footage of the moment it believes a Chinese lantern floated into a recyling centre in Smethwick, starting a huge blaze