Brown backs MP over controversial alcohol clampdown

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol, Prime minister of the united kingdom, Gordon brown

Gordon Brown has given his firm backing to an MP who has proposed controversial measures to clampdown on how alcohol is sold and displayed. The Prime...

Gordon Brown has given his firm backing to an MP who has proposed controversial measures to clampdown on how alcohol is sold and displayed.

The Prime Minister revealed his support for getting tough on the way alcohol is promoted at a reception at 10 Downing Street today, attended by trade leaders, health lobbyists and members of The Publican ​team.

The plans, put forward as part of a Bill by Labour MP Sally Keeble, call for a minimum price to be set on a unit of alcohol.

But more worringly for the trade, it urges action on where and when alcohol advertising can be displayed in an outlet.

Though designed to target the off-trade, the measures cover all premises in which alcohol is no more than 30 per cent of annual turnover - which could affect many food-orientated pubs.

Another proposal calls for new regulations on how drinks sold in pubs and off-licences are labelled.

Speaking at the reception the Prime Minister said: "She (Keeble) is raising an issue of profound importance that affects everyone in the country. Sally has done a wonderful job."

Brown said tackling alcohol issues was about "educating young people and some cultural change".

He said he thought recent adverts warning of the dangers of binge-drinking had been "persuasive".

But Rob Hayward, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said he was not supportive of the Bill. He added: "These issues are addressed in the government's alcohol strategy and we will respond to each of those."

On the issue of the government's current consultation on alcohol strategy, Brown said: "All the proposals are being looked at. You can petition us and we are listening to what you say before we consider what is done."

Related topics: Legislation

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