Zac Goldsmith has joined the likes of Ricky Gervais and Dame Judi Dench in the fight to end the use of wild animals in Britain’s circuses.

The Conservative MP, who represents Richmond Park and North Kingston, has voiced his support for Animal Defenders International, and a bill introduced by former Labour Defra minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP to ban wild animal acts by the end of 2015.

Revelations around the mistreatment of a circus elephant in 2011 led to a unanimous vote in favour of a ban the same year, but a delay has seen the number of wild animal acts increase and the return of big cats in circuses in Britain.

Mr Goldsmith said: "The time has come to consign the spectre of wild animals performing unnatural tricks in circuses to the history books.

"Parliament has the chance to act for an historic victory, and I hope that it will be achieved quickly."