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David Walliams in plea for the protection of libraries

By Sherna Noah

Bestselling author David Walliams has called for the "safeguarding" of libraries.

The comedian and writer of books such as Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny said that "access to reading" should be improved.

Imagining what he would do if he was Prime Minister, Walliams (47) told Radio Times magazine: "I'd... introduce new laws on children's literacy. Whenever I am filming around the country I try to make time to go into a school and give out copies of my books.

"World Book Day provides books for children and for a quarter of the kids, it's the first book they ever own. So I'd want to improve access to reading and safeguard libraries.

"I used to go to the library every couple of weeks with my mum and dad and get out books like Stig Of The Dump and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

"My son is five-and-a-half and when we read together, it's the most magical time," the author, who has a child with ex-wife and model Lara Stone, said.

"But I know that's a luxury not everybody has. So as Prime Minister I'd improve that situation."

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