SNP MP Patricia Gibson has secured a victory in her campaign against nuisance calls after the UK Government agreed to change the law to fine rogue company directors up to £500,000.

The North Ayrshire and Arran MP’s Unsolicited Marketing Communications (Company Directors): Ten Minute Rule Bill was introduced to Parliament on September 13 and included provisions to hold company bosses personally responsible for nuisance calls.

The Information Commissioner’s Office will be given the power to take action against named company directors found to have made unsolicited marketing calls in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

Following a debate in Westminster, UK ministers have now agreed to Gibson’s demand to tackle the scourge of nuisance calls by legislating for directors to be fined up half a million pounds each if they are found to be in breach of the regulations.

Before Gibson’s campaign, only businesses were liable for fines, and many of them try to escape paying nuisance-call penalties by declaring bankruptcy only to open up again under a new name – a practice known as “phoenixing”.

Gibson said: “Nuisance callers blight our society and cause significant distress, particularly to elderly and vulnerable people. Such harassment is unacceptable, which is why, since my election last year, I have vigorously pursued a positive resolution to this issue. I am delighted that the government will now legislate and introduce the measures proposed in the ten-minute-rule bill I brought forward last month.

“This will be an important step in tackling nuisance calls, as company directors cannot now escape the consequences of their unlawful actions, and I look forward to these changes coming into force from spring 2017.”

Darren Shirley, campaigns manager for Which?, said it was a “massive victory” that would not have happened without the MP’s support.

He added: “It’s good to see the government has listened. This legislation will stop rogues dodging fines for bombarding consumers with nuisance calls and side-stepping the rules by closing one business and re-establishing a new one.”