BARNSLEY’S only Conservative MP Miriam Cates recently spoke in Parliament regarding her concern about the ‘dramatic rise’ in teenage mental health conditions - asking Prime Minister Rishi Sunak if now is the time to ban social media for youngsters.

Mrs Cates, who represents the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency, believes the rise is linked to the widespread use of smartphones and social media.

She said: “Since 2010 there has been a hugely worrying increase in anxiety, self harm and depression amongst under 16s.

“There have even been tragic cases of online bullying through social media driving children to suicide.

“This requires urgent, serious action to protect young people.

“Historically we’ve passed laws to protect children from the dangers associated with smoking, alcohol, cars and sunbeds.

“I asked the Prime Minister if the situation has now reached a point where we need to look at banning smartphones and social media for under 16s too.”