Members of the House of Keys have backed legislation that would see period products in the island being made available for free.

MHK for Douglas East, Joney Faragher, asked for permission to introduce a private member's bill during Tuesday’s sitting.

Ms Faragher’s proposal came after the island campaign group ‘Manx Menstrual Movement’ recently called for products to be made available for free following a similar development in Scotland.

Island locals have previously relied heavily on charities such as ‘The Red Box Project’ to get free period products, but the organisation is no longer running.

Currently, the only places to access free products are at the Isle of Man Foodbank and the newly set up ‘Period Pick n Mix’ station in Henry Bloom Noble Library. However, the upkeep of both these services relies solely upon donations.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently the only countries in the world to have free provision of period products legislation.

Speaking about the proposed Bill, Ms Faragher said: ‘Menstruation is just health, it is a normal part of life and products should be as available in public facilities as toilet roll.’

Ms Faragher also referenced problems such as a lack of education regarding menstruation, the stigma around it and the current cost of period products.

The vote to grant leave to introduce the bill was backed by 20 of the 24 MHKs.

Although he voted in favour of the Bill, Health Minister Lawrie Hooper raised concerns about the increased workload for the Department of Health and Social Care.

He said: ‘I just wanted to flag that if you're going to bring more private member's Bills through that are going to impact on my department and my very stretched workforce, I'm going to have to hire a lot more of them.’

Ms Faragher will now begin to draft the legislation for the Bill.