Mephedrone party drug nicknamed 'meow-meow' will be banned in Britain within a month, the government has announced, after a string of deaths were linked to it.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said mephedrone - currently freely available to buy on the internet and in shops selling legal highs - would join amphetamines and cannabis as an outlawed class B drug, the second most dangerous kind.

The drug, also nicknamed Plant Food, has been linked to up to 25 deaths in England and Scotland since its popularity reportedly snowballed at music festivals in the middle of last year.

Its effects are similar to ecstasy and can include increased heart rate, anxiety and a sense of euphoria.

The government is determined to crack down on these so-called legal highs and we must all play a part in ensuring children and young people know about their dangers, Johnson said, announcing the ban.

The move came after the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) issued it with a report backing a ban on mephedrone and despite the resignation of a council member, Dr Polly Taylor.

She quit in a row over how the government uses the council's advice which has already seen six other of its members resign.