Conservative Diary

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David Cameron promises to look at availability of "very cheap drink"

Joining police officers in Hull yesterday to learn more about drink-fuelled crime, the Tory leader promised "serious changes" to Britain's licensing laws and made this statement according to the BBC and the Pontefract and Castleford Express:

"We need to look at the unbelievable availability of very cheap drink, getting three litres of cider for £1.99, at all hours of day and night. We've got to do something about this and I'm exploring what we can do to deal with the drink that's fuelling so much of the crime in our country."

The Conservative-run Westminster council has successfully pursued voluntary agreements with local supermarkets to stop the stocking of cheap, super-strength alcoholic drinks.  The Conservatives also want to give local residents more powers to stop through-the-night opening of pubs and clubs.

Iain Duncan Smith proposed a higher price for alcohol and a higher tax that could be used to pay for more treatments to addicts.  Tory members rejected that idea in a ConHome poll despite evidence that the relative price of alcohol has declined markedly over recent years.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, the new Tory candidate for Totnes, identifies binge drinking as one of the top three issues she hopes to address as a Conservative MP.  She favours a minimum price for alcohol.

Tim Montgomerie


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