The MAS report, titled Indebted Lives, identified the UK's five most over-indebted areas as: Hull, Nottingham, Manchester, Knowsley and Liverpool. Around two-fifths of adults in all these areas are struggling with debt.
At the other end of the scale, Richmond upon Thames in south London has just 1.2% of its population struggling with debt, according to the report.
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Gove's comments came as a draft bill enshrining animal sentience into UK law was published.