[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Parking bay MP branded 'an oaf'
Anthony Steen's car at Newton Abbot railway station: Picture Nick Irving
Mr Steen was fined for leaving his car in the space
A Conservative MP who said the number of disabled parking spaces across the UK was "disproportionate" has come under fire from a motorists' group.

Douglas Campbell, of disabled transport group Mobilise, branded Anthony Steen a "pompous oaf" over the comments.

The row erupted after Mr Steen was fined for leaving his car in a disabled bay at Newton Abbot railway station.

The Totnes MP said there was an "absurd number of handicapped spaces" and national regulations should be changed.

He said he had been "rushing" to Westminster and had used the disabled bay because the car park was full.

He said: "It's not a requirement that you provide so much for the handicapped and comparatively insufficient for the un-handicapped.

"Of course we want to help the handicapped, and of course they've got to be given provisions, but not against the interests of the majority".

But Mr Campbell said the MP appeared to be a "pompous oaf".

He added: "To suggest that disabled people's needs should not be met at the cost of other people's needs, presumably also Anthony Steen thinks that all disabled people should sit at home twiddle their thumbs, not have a job, and perhaps just go to the day centre in an ambulance every day."

However, several callers to BBC local radio stations said they agreed with Mr Steen's views.

The Conservative Party has distanced itself from the MP's comments.

Why Anthony Steen says he parked in the bay

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific