A Christmas toy has failed health and safety tests, after it arrived into the UK at Heathrow Airport.

The toy in question was one of 96 of Santa's little helpers, imported from India. One was taken for sample testing by Trading Standards, with the doll being deemed a choking hazard to children.

Interestingly, though the elf was a soft doll, it had a label stating it was unsuitable for under threes, however, under UK legislation, all soft toys are automatically considered to be intended for smaller children.

The retailer of the dolls was informed of the safety risk and the elves were removed from sale.

Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “It’s not unusual for Christmas toys to be passed off as novelties or decorations because they haven’t been made childproof and we would urge shoppers expecting young children in the house over the festive season to be on the lookout for products likely to be picked up and played with despite labels saying they’re unsuitable for under-threes.”