“Chunterer in Chief ? Our Kevin Almost Gains a New Title

Alcohol Strategy Consultation
Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister
1:24 pm  17th July 2013

Kevin Barron (Rother Valley, Labour)

Sunday’s edition of The Observer reported that the Faculty of Public Health had withdrawn from the Government’s responsibility deal. It has followed many other organisations, including Alcohol Concern. The president of the faculty, Professor John Ashton, said that many of his members would

“conclude that the government’s policies are putting the interests of industry ahead of improving people’s health.”

He is right, is he not?

Photo of Jeremy Browne

Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane, Liberal Democrat)

Let me make a couple of brief points. When such consultations take place, respondents with a particular health perspective usually come from the angle of reducing health harms, but many contributors who want to retain the freedom to buy a wide range of alcohol without the state telling people how to behave will come from a different angle. Secondly—[Interruption.]

Photo of John Bercow

John Bercow (Speaker)

Order. I apologise for interrupting the Minister, but I say to Mr Barron that he is an illustrious figure in the House. He holds an extremely important position by chairing the Committee on Standards and the Committee of Privileges. I know that he feels extremely strongly about these matters, but he must not compete with other Members for the title of chunterer-in-chief.

Photo of Jeremy Browne

Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane, Liberal Democrat)

My brief second point is that the right hon. Gentleman is of sufficient means that if he feels that he does not want to buy low-cost alcohol, I can recommend he does not do so.


Don’t for one minute think Kevin Barron MP would buy cheap alcohol for his own drinking, but am sure he was being more concerned about the health of the poverty stricken of his constituents, of which there are many.

Thankyou Kevin, for your concern.

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