AN outspoken Somerset MP has compared Taunton to a war-torn Syrian city to make a point in Parliament.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, made the comments during a House of Commons discussion today (January 31).

He was admiring the work of nearby Exeter in producing a 'detailed vision' for the city centre, before voicing the attack on Somerset's county town.

He said: "Exeter City has just brought out an excellent report looking 20 years ahead for the security and the growth of their city centre.

"Across the border, my county town Taunton is more like Aleppo than anything else.

"Could I please have a debate in government time on town centres and how they must look forward to visionary experiences as opposed to looking back to what has happened in history."

In reply to his comments, Andrea Leadsom MP, lord president of the council and leader of the House of Commons, said a debate would be an option.

She did not, however, comment on Mr Liddell-Grainger's, perhaps extreme, view of the town.

She said: "My honourable friend is absolutely right.

"Local authorities and local enterprise partnerships do need to properly plan for the thriving future of their town centres and their regions.

"He makes a very good point and I would encourage him to seek an adjournment debate so he can rise his particular issues."