A KENDAL councillor who donated a kidney to his wife has welcomed the news that England looks set to adopt a new organ donation system.

The new plan shifts the balance of presumption in favour of organ donation, with an opt out for those who do not wish to take part, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

The changes will be known as Max's Law after Max Johnson, a 10-year-old boy who was saved by a heart transplant.

Councillor Chris Hogg donated his kidney to wife and fellow councillor Rachael Hogg in 2016.

Cllr Chris Hogg said: "This will make a significant difference to families who have relatives waiting for an organ donation.

It’s great to see an issue that has cross party support being acted on and I’m grateful to all who lobbied and took part in the consultation. It’s really important to stress that people still need to have the conversation about their wishes with their families."

Currently, would-be donors must indicate their intentions on the NHS Organ Donor Register or families must make the decision if a patient's wish to donate is unknown.

While research shows that 82 per cent of people in England support donation, only 37 per cent have indicated so on the register.

The proposed law will aim to close this gap, and is expected to be rolled out by the Government in Spring 2020.

It is anticipated that up to 700 more lives could be saved each year by the new system.

Under-18s, people with limited mental capacity and others who have not lived in England for at least a year prior to their death will be exempt from the scheme.

It follows a consultation earlier in 2018 which drew 17,000 responses from the public. The legislation, which was introduced in Parliament in July 2017, will return to the House of Commons in the autumn.

Those who do not wish to donate can record this on the NHS register either online, by phone or on an app to be released by the end of the year.

Cllr Rachael Hogg added: "Having had to wait for a new kidney and going through dialysis myself I understand how important organ donation is. I welcome the new opt out legislation and hope this major change will save many many lives."