Portsmouth MP says minimum booze prices still worth trying

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt
The Astoria in Guildhall Walk

Decision deferred over Astoria’s plan for extended mid-week licence

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PLANS to introduce minimum alcohol pricing should be given a go to combat alcohol abuse, an MP has said.

It comes after a political row broke out yesterday over whether the proposals will go ahead after rumours emerged that many top Tories harboured doubts.

The government was looking into the idea of introducing minimum alcohol pricing in a bid to eliminate problem drinking.

As reported in The News, councillors in Portsmouth refused to back the plans earlier this month, saying they didn’t think the move would stop heavy drinking, despite widespread support among health professionals.

But Penny Mordaunt, the MP for Portsmouth North, said she thinks minimum alcohol pricing is worth a try.

‘I’m prepared to give minimum pricing a punt,’ she said.

‘There is good evidence it does make a difference to those who abuse alcohol, while not affecting the price sensible drinkers will have.

‘It should also help pubs, too. I’m happy to have a trial of it and I think healthcare professionals in Portsmouth would agree.’

Yesterday the Prime Minister said he was still determined to crack down on problem drinking.

One suggestion was a base price of 45p per unit of alcohol.

He was confronted in the House of Commons by a Tory MP over the speculation plans for minimum alcohol pricing were to be dropped.

He replied: ‘There is a problem with discounted alcohol in supermarkets and other stores and I am determined we will deal with this.

‘We’ve got to deal with the problem of having 20p or 25p cans of lager available in supermarkets. It’s got to change.’