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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Brown 'may reverse drinking laws'
Beer taps
Licensing laws were extended in November 2005
Gordon Brown has said he could overturn the recent law allowing pubs in England and Wales to open 24 hours a day.

The prime minister said binge-drinking was "unacceptable" and that he would "not hesitate to change policies" if he thought this was necessary.

He told Labour's annual conference the government would shut down off-licences selling alcohol to children.

Mr Brown began a review of extended licensing hours, brought in by Tony Blair, when he became PM in June.

'Looking again'

In a speech to Labour's annual conference in Bournemouth, the prime minister said: "Binge-drinking and under-age drinking that disrupt neighbourhoods are unacceptable.

"To punish: let me tell the shops that repeatedly sell alcohol to those who are under-age - we will take your licence away.

Where there are things that are wrong and where mistakes have been made, we will look at these and we will change these things
Gordon Brown

"To prevent: councils should use new powers to ban alcohol in troublespots and I call on the industry to do more to advertise the dangers of teenage drinking."

Mr Brown earlier told BBC Radio 4'sToday programme there was an "issue" about 24-hour licensing.

He added: "That's why we are reviewing it. Where there are things that are wrong and where mistakes have been made, we will look at these and we will change these things.

"That's why on casinos we are looking again, on cannabis we are looking again and that's why on 24-hour drinking we are looking again."

Laws allowing 24-hour licensing were brought in at the end of 2005.

A Home Office inquiry into the subject is expected to report by the end of the year.


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