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May: Alcohol causing 'carnage' in our towns

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The home secretary has said that in order to deal with the problem of excessive consumption of alcohol, "the evidence is... you need to deal with the price".

Theresa May was speaking ahead of the publication of the government's cross-departmental Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales to tackle drink-fuelled violence and binge-drinking.

The measures will include a minimum unit price for alcohol, a ban on multi-buy discount deals and a late-night levy on pubs and clubs so they contribute towards policing costs.

"What it is going to affect is the cheap end of the alcohol market", she said which leads to "pre-loading" and causes "drunken mayhem in our town centres"

She said that, "we have based our assumption on a unit price of 40p but we are consulting on it and will take a decision accordingly".

On supermarket discount deals she said that the government will be "talking to industry" because this is "allied to the cheap price that is leading to this pre-loading".

Mrs May said that any decision by government to ban discount deals would be legal.

The Today programme's John Humphrys also asked the her about whether any decision had been made to deport the radical cleric Abu Qatada.

She said that "if we get the assurances [from Jordan] that enable us to deport then obviously we'll be deporting" but would not be drawn on whether they would defy the Court of Human Rights in order to do this.

The home secretary said that they were working towards a situation which meant that "when we deport him we are not required to bring him back".


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