Business minister Michael Fallon defended a consultation that could lead to the privatisation of most of Land Registry.

He told parliament: ‘It is government policy to assess options for moving assets to the private sector where there is no longer a strong policy reason for continued public ownership or where there is potential for an asset to operate more sensibly and efficiently in the private sector.’

Labour MP Sian James, who called the debate, said: ‘The current system is tried, tested, evaluated and proven… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’