Pressure mounts on Labour as Tories support SNP measures for Scotland's battle with booze
The SNP today welcomed support from the Conservatives at stage two of the Alcohol Minimum Pricing (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament.
SNP MSP for Glasgow, Bob Doris, welcomed the Tories support and said that pressure was now mounting on Labour to back what was best for Scotland.
Mr Doris, Vice Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, said: “This is the crucial next step in tackling Scotland’s harmful relationship with alcohol, and I’m delighted that the majority of parties backed the bill at stage two.
“Addressing the link between price of high-strength alcohol and consumption is vital, and we will be able to do this through minimum pricing.
“We urge politicians from all parties to stand with the SNP - and a whole raft of medical experts - who support minimum pricing, so the Tories’ support is therefore most welcome.
“Labour must get onside and support what is best for the people of Scotland and drop their opposition for the sake of opposition.
“Labour MSP and former Health Minister, Malcolm Chisholm recognises the importance of minimum pricing and previously voted for it – which just reveals the extent to which Labour as a whole are still putting party politics ahead of public health in refusing to back minimum pricing.
“Labour have to explain why they think they know better than the BMA, the RCN, all four UK Chief Medical Officers, the Police, the ambulance service, children’s charities, the churches, and countless other experts.
“Nobody is saying that this is a magic bullet that will solve all of Scotland’s alcohol problems, but it is a vital part of addressing the issue of Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with drink.”