THE campaign for firms to pay workers a "living wage" has been joined by a Tory MP who urged colleagues to accept the case for fairer pay.

Guy Opperman said the Government must take seriously the findings of a commission examining the idea being led by the Archbishop of York. Downing Street backs the idea of firms paying a living wage - set significantly higher than the national minimum wage.

But it has resisted Labour calls for firms that fail to do so being excluded from bidding for state contracts.

London Mayor Boris Johnson is among prominent supporters of the living wage campaign and has urged Prime Minister David Cameron to apply it to Whitehall workers.

Mr Opperman said: "David Cameron was right when he said that 'the living wage is an idea whose time has come."