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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September, 2003, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Tories to examine binge drinking
Heavy drinking is a major concern
The Tory Party has set up a working party of senior Conservative MPs to examine the problems of binge drinking.

The group, to be chaired by Shadow Home Affairs Minister Julian Brazier, will study the effect on crime and health, particularly among young people.

It will consult experts in the field and look at efforts to tackle binge drinking in other countries.

Its recommendations are likely to be announced at the Conservative Party's spring conference in Harrogate.

The government has been far too complacent about binge drinking
Julian Brazier
Mr Brazier said: "As well as being a major cause of crime, binge drinking is a severe drain on the health service. One in six cases handled by hospital casualty departments is alcohol-related.

"The government has been far too complacent about binge drinking. The fact that the problem now cuts across three departments - The Home Office, the Department of Health, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport - indicates a need for coherent, joined-up thinking."

Shadow Home Secretary Oliver Letwin said: "I have already announced radical Conservative plans to force all young hard drug addicts into intensive rehabilitation.

"It is equally important to find solutions to the problems of binge drinking, which is on the increase and is doing untold damage."

Six-year-olds 'binge drinking'
27 Aug 03  |  Health

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