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Nearly 90 per cent of the UK was exposed to illegal air pollution in 2013 because of dirty diesel vehicles, a new Government report has found.

Pollution in 38 out of 43 areas of the UK exceeded the EU’s limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – a gas directly linked to thousands of premature deaths.

The latest figures are revealed in an annual report submitted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to the European Commission.