A MAJOR electrical firm is facing a recall notice amid concern over the safety of its tumble dryers, the Government has said.

Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said Whirlpool has been informed of the Government's intention to serve such a notice, labelling the move "unprecedented".

Her remarks came after Conservative former minister Andrew Griffiths raised "great concern" over Whirlpool's "straightness" and whether or not people have unsafe products in their homes.

In April, the Office for Product Safety and Standards published a report which told Whirlpool to improve its risk management and communication with customers regarding repairs to tumble dryers to prevent fires.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Griffiths said: "The Office for Product Safety and Standards undertook a thorough review into the modification of Whirlpool tumble dryers, yet there still remains great concern not only about the straightness of Whirlpool, but whether people have unsafe products in their homes.

"Can the minister update us on what's happening in relation to Whirlpool?"

Ms Tolhurst replied: "Consumer safety is a Government priority.

"I want to assure (Mr Griffiths) that we have kept Whirlpool's actions under review and I can tell the House we have informed Whirlpool of our intention to serve a recall notice as a next step of the regulatory process.

"This is unprecedented action."

Later, shadow business minister Gill Furniss said the OPSS had been "weak" in the handling of its investigation into Whirlpool.

During a debate on changing the law to enhance consumer protections, Ms Furniss said: "Consumer groups led by Which? were incensed by what they called 'fundamentally flawed investigation that appears to favour business interests over people's safety'.

"How does the minister suggest we have confidence in the OPSS if its first-ever investigation has been so widely criticised for its failure to properly tackle the issues at hand?"

Responding for the Government, Ms Tolhurst told MPs: "I did inform the House that the Government has notified Whirlpool of their intention to issue a recall notice which is part of the regulatory process.

"So I have to say whilst I have much respect for the honourable lady I have to totally disagree with the characterisation of the Government's view in taking forward the concerns about Whirlpool and the role of the Office of Product Safety and Standards in that process."