North East MPs clash over alcohol pricing

NORTH East MPs clashed yesterday over introducing a minimum price for alcohol.

NORTH East MPs clashed yesterday over introducing a minimum price for alcohol.

Former Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, who represents Tynemouth, expressed doubts about the value of the move.

But Guy Opperman, Tory MP for Hexham, backed the plan.

Mr Campbell praised the launch of Balance, the North East alcohol office. He said: “One of their concerns, and I have to put on record that I remain to be convinced about this, is the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol. There was, frankly, no consensus in the previous Government on this.”

Mr Opperman said: “I’ve put on record my support that an alcohol Act similar to what exists in Scotland.” He said the move was backed by a “vast amount” of healthcare professionals.

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, who secured the debate, said: “I hope the Government will introduce concrete measures to address alcohol dependency, such as legislation and a minimum price if that is appropriate.”

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