A SOUTHAMPTON MP’s bid to curb misleading supermarket special offers has cleared its first hurdle.

John Denham is trying to change the law to force supermarkets to publish detailed information about their prices.

This would allow consumers to use smartphone apps to decide on the cheapest shop.

The Labour MP for Southampton Itchen presented his Bill to MPs at Westminster yesterday.

He said the move would “drive sharp practice and misleading pricing out of the marketplace”.

The tactics used by supermarkets include temporarily raising prices of a product only to “reduce” them back to the original price, and pricing fruit and vegetables in different ways, making it difficult to compare the costs.

Mr Denham told MPs: “None of the information I want shoppers to have is secret, it’s all publicly available.

“The problem is to get our hands on it we would need an army of volunteers to go into every store, every day, to check on the prices of products.”

The Supermarket Pricing Information Bill was not opposed by other MPs, but it is unlikely to make further progress due to a lack of parliamentary time.