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Minimum alcohol pricing "not ruled out", Home Secretary tells Echo
HOME Secretary Theresa May has told the Echo minimum pricing could still be introduced to help tackle alcohol abuse.
The MP was visiting Bournemouth to address business leaders from the 66 Club, which is connected with the local Conserv-ative Party, at the end of a week which saw her accused of positioning herself as a successor to the Prime Minister.
It also saw the government criticised for apparently shying away from a minimum alcohol pricing policy. Speaking before the event at the Marriott Highcliff Hotel in West Cliff on Friday, the Home Secretary denied the policy had been dropped.
“The government hasn’t taken a decision at this stage,” she said.
“We are still looking at responses to the consultation on this issue, and what we want to do as the next step will become clear in due course.”
She said tackling binge drinking and revellers drinking cheap alcohol at home before going out, is still a priority for the government. She also sought to quash rumours she is setting herself up as a potential successor to the Prime Minister.
She said: “David Cameron is a first-class Prime Minister, leading our party through very difficult and challenging times and doing an excellent job. “It is in the interests of the British people that he carries on as Prime Minister not only up to the next election but beyond it.”
Mrs May was due to speak to club members about the government’s successes in reforming policing, cutting net migration by a third and its achievements in welfare and education. Bournemouth West MP and 66 Club president Conor Burns said he was delighted she had agreed to speak at the event.
“Theresa is one of the big beasts of modern British politics, she has stamped her authority on the Home Office rather than being buffeted around by events.
“I hope she will offer club members reassurance that the government is committed to dealing with the deficit and getting the UK back to growth.”
l The Home Secretary also defended the government’s crackdown on student visas, saying the numbers of foreign students enrolled in UK universities have increased since it was introduced.
Her comments come days after the Echo revealed that English language tutoring is worth £207million in Dorset.