'Price hike would have dreadful impact on core vote'

Gordon Brown's speedy rejection of plans for minimum pricing on alcohol has been judged as a smart PR move by senior journalists and political experts.

‘Hike would hit votes’ Irvine
‘Hike would hit votes’ Irvine

Brown this weekend rejected controversial proposals from the chief medical officer, saying he would protect the interests of the ‘sensible maj­ority of moderate drinkers’.

Daily Mail political editor Ben Brogan said of Brown: ‘He realises it would be political madness to punish the ­responsible drinking majority for the excesses of the binge-drinking minority. I suspect he’s also not keen on apeing the SNP.’

The SNP, Scotland’s governing party, has already ann­ounced it is planning to introduce minimum prices for ­alcohol, which could be in force by the end of the year.

Media House chairman Jack Irvine said: ‘The feeling inside No 10 at the moment is that, with the current financial meltdown, they don’t want to be fighting on too many fronts. A price hike on drink would have a dreadful impact on Lab­our’s core vote and, importantly, the 18-30 vote. Not even Brown can be so out of touch.’

Regarding Scotland, Irvine suggested the SNP could rely on leader Alex Salmond’s ‘charisma’ to sell difficult legislation to the public.

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