Cameron says minimum pricing ‘has merit’

UK prime minister David Cameron has insisted that he has not given up on the idea of minimum unit pricing for alcohol, despite dropping the policy in the summer.

David CameronDespite the policy having the support of the prime minister, in July it was left out of the government’s plans to combat problem drinking. That move sparked claims that Cameron had been influenced by his party’s election strategist, Australian lobbyist Lynton Crosby, whose firm is reported to have represented drinks giants.

But last night the prime minister said that he had not given up on the idea.

He told Sky News: “The idea of minimum unit pricing isn’t going ahead now but it does have merit, so we could have another look at it.”

Former Labour Party spin doctor Alastair Campbell has been spearheading efforts by the Alcohol Concern charity at the party conferences to have the policy revived. He was joined for the latest in a series of jogs this week in Manchester, where the Conservatives are gathered, by footballer Joey Barton.

This morning Campbell also promised to make a donation to the Conservative Party if it committed to minimum unit pricing. He tweeted: “It will make me feel unclean to be a Tory donor but if David Cameron commits to Minimum Unit Pricing I will make 10k donation to Tory party”.

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