LORD Stoddart of Swindon has hit out at the action being taken against the parents of Aysha King, who took him abroad in a bid to secure treatment in Spain which was unavailable on the NHS.

Brett and Naghemeh King are being held in police custody after they refused to consent to their extradition to the UK at court appearance in Spain, where they took their five-year-old son, who has a brain tumour.

It is believed the family were seeking proton beam therapy for the youngster, which is not provided by the NHS.

And independent Labour peer Lord Stoddart says he is "concerned" about rules allowing the arrest of the parents, who took the youngster from hospital in Southampton on Thursday, prompting an international search.

Ashya is now in hospital in Malaga.

Lord Stoddart said:  “I am deeply concerned that a European Arrest Warrant has been issued again British citizens, leading to their being separated from their children and their mortally sick child, Aysha and incarcerated in a Spanish jail. 

"By all accounts, these poor parents were simply trying to get the best possible treatment for their son, which wasn’t available in this country.

“I have always opposed the EU’s European Arrest Warrant but we were told they were for chasing after organised crime, people traffickers and terrorists etc, not the desperately worried parents of a very sick little boy, who, according to the NHS, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

“A very worrying precedent has been set here, which could lead to people being afraid to take their children to a hospital in case they disagree with the doctors and end up having half of Europe’s police forces hunting them down. 

"Even more disturbing is the complete silence from UK politicians, particularly in the South East of England, who seem to have nothing to say on the matter despite it involving their constituents. 

“We really do need to start asking what kind of country we are living in when we see the appalling way these deeply troubled parents have been treated. 

"They are not common criminals and they shouldn’t be treated as if they are.”

The European warrant was obtained by Hampshire Constabulary on the grounds the Kings neglected Ashya, who has since been made a ward of court after a request from Southampton General Hospital.