BOLTON MP Sir David Crausby has backed a campaign to stop guide dogs and their disabled owners being illegally barred from taxis, shops and restaurants.

He spoke out after attending a Parliamentary reception attended by dozens of people who had suffered such discrimination.

The Bolton North-East MP said he had heard of several cases in the town from constituents.

It is against the law to refuse access to a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog except in the most exceptional circumstances.

A Guide Dogs survey has found that three out of four had been turned away because of their dog with taxis and minicabs the worst offenders .

Sir David said: “I’ve heard from Bolton residents in the past about issues with taxis and it was upsetting to hear how common these incidents of discrimination are.

"No one should be turned away from their town centre because of their assistance dog. I support Guide Dogs’ campaign to tackle the ignorance that causes this."access refusals."

Guide Dogs are calling for all taxi and minicab drivers to be required to take disability equality training so they are aware of the rights of disabled passengers.