Twickenham MP Vince Cable trotted down to a family-run stable threatened with closure.

Park Lane Stables in Teddington has been successfully managed since 2009, but rising property prices in the area mean the small business is now struggling to compete with the deeper pockets of developers.

The Business Secretary met some of the ponies are available for young people with disabilities to ride.

Proprietor Natalie O’Rourke said: “We are very grateful for Dr Cable’s support in our quest to remain here.

“Operating as a suburban stable in a much sought-after location is a challenge, but so many local people benefit from us being here.

“Sadly, unless a kind-hearted buyer comes forward, we may be forced to relocate away from the community which has become our home.”