Holyrood committee rejects alcohol misuse legislation

Labour's Dr Richard Simpson. Picture: Greg Macvean
Labour's Dr Richard Simpson. Picture: Greg Macvean
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MSPs have rejected a ­radical plan to tighten Scotland’s alcohol laws including tougher regulation of tonic wines with a high caffeine content such as Buckfast.

A majority of the SNP-dominated health committee decided they were not persuaded by the proposals contained in the Alcohol Bill, {{http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/alcohol-ad-ban-could-criminalise-sports-wear-parents-1-3928865|tabled by Labour’s Richard Simpson}.

Dr Simpson, a former prison doctor, drafted the bill, which called for a package including regulation of alcoholic drinks containing caffeine, restrictions on alcohol advertising and drinking banning orders.

The majority of the committee were of the belief that the Scottish Government’s forthcoming alcohol strategy offered a more effective route to address Scotland’s drink problem.

The deputy convener of the committee Bob Doris, said: “The Scottish Government has shown that they will legislate when needed in order to protect public health. However, we heard during evidence that some of the bill’s proposals may not require legislation as voluntary schemes could achieve the same outcomes.”

Committee convener Duncan McNeil of Labour said: “The majority of our members, whilst supporting the aims, couldn’t support the detail of the proposals.”

READ MORE: Crackdown on Buckfast rejected by ministers