David Cameron will scrap plans for minimum alcohol pricing in England and Wales amid pressure from the Treasury, the Telegraph reported last night.
Backbench Conservative MPs reacted angrily to the reports of a u-turn:
I really hope rumours of u-turn on minimum unit pricing for alcohol are not true. We must tackle problem of easily accessible cheap alcohol
Very concerned about suggestion that minimum pricing to be dropped from alcohol strategy. Public health minister could not confirm at mtg
Meanwhile Labour said a Conservative u-turn on minimum pricing would represent "weak leadership" and Liberal Democrat health spokesman Greg Mulholland went as far as proposing scrapping the beer duty escalator for economic reasons:
‘Scrapping beer duty will lead to brewery investment, expansion and employment’ - http://t.co/rHBWiiNjGd