A new private members' bill proposing a minimum price on alcohol is to be unveiled to trade leaders at 10 Downing Street today, the Morning Advertiser can reveal.
Labour MP Sally Keeble, a fierce critic of deep discounting in the off-trade, has invited representatives of the British Beer and Pub Association, Noctis and the BII as well as groups such as Alcohol Concern to No 10 to launch the bill.
It is unclear whether Gordon Brown will be in attendance due to his involvement in the Lloyds takeover of HBOS.
The Bill calls for the setting up of a Drinks Industry Council (DIC), made up of representatives from the industry, producers, police, health care, youth sector and consumers, which would advise Government on a minimum price for a unit of alcohol, promotions and set codes of conduct.
The minimum price would be set by the Government after advice from the DIC with different prices being set depending on product, alcoholic strength, region and the type of establishment selling it. The minimum price would be reviewed every year.
The Bill also calls for limits on alcohol advertising by supermarkets and the areas in which alcohol can be displayed and the introduction of a standard warning label for all drinks.
"This bill sets out some measures to put a lid on binge drinking," said Keeble. "The industry would be involved in setting the minimum price, and the rules for in-store promotions and labelling.
"These measures would not put up the price of having a pint in the pub. They are designed to tackle the buying and drinking of large amounts of alcohol from shops, and also to stop happy hours where people pay a flat rate and drink as much as they want."
Only a minority of private members' bills become law but by creating publicity around an issue, they may affect legislation indirectly.
The Alcohol Sales Bill will next be debated in Parliament on 17 October.