Kirklees MPs have called on health ministers to stop plans to put people who smoke or are too fat to the back of the queue for surgery.

Kirklees will be one the first places in Britain to adopt an official system of delaying non-urgent surgery for smokers and the overweight until they improve their health.

It will insist that smokers try to quit before they are given certain operations and people who have a body mass index (BMI) above 30, attempt to lose weight before they get to go under the knife.

Those who refuse will have their surgery deferred, potentially for six months to a year, while those who take part could be moved up the queue if they are successful in improving their health.

The plans are being implemented by Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG).

But the MPs for Dewsbury and the Colne Valley have urged the Department of Health to step in and stop it.

Pointing out that Huddersfield Giants prop forward Sebastine Ikahihifo , would breach the obesity test threshold, Colne Valley MP, Thelma Walker, said the use of BMI to classify whether someone is obese was “frankly, laughable.”

Paula Sherriff, whose constituency covers Dewsbury, Mirfield and Kirkburton, told the House of Commons, that “unprecedented cuts and challenges” were affecting healthcare in Kirklees.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff.

And she raised the potential postcode lottery that would see patients from Wakefield and Dewsbury treated differently by the same hospital.

She asked Health Minister, Philip Dunne, to “take meaningful steps to end this unnecessary, unfair and counterproductive rationing of treatments.”

Ms Sherriff, who secured the Westminster Hall debate, said: “Can he explain why he feels it is acceptable that someone in Wakefield could have surgery, while someone nine miles away in Dewsbury could not?

“They might both be smokers, and the surgery would be carried out by the same surgeon, probably in the same hospital.

“Are we not in danger of going into a very big postcode lottery once again?”

She added: “Is this the start of the beginning of a much bigger rationing programme?

“The NHS is in crisis, and I say that as someone who worked in the health service for nearly 13 years immediately before becoming an MP.

“I maintain that the concept of the health optimisation plan in Kirklees, and undoubtedly those elsewhere, is deeply flawed.

“I plead with the minister to use his influence to engage with the CCGs.

“I think we all agree that stopping smoking and losing weight is a good thing – my ​goodness, I could follow some of that advice – but not at the expense of people being in pain and potentially affecting their mental health, or of having a postcode lottery.”

The debate was adjourned before any motion could be passed.