BMA is criticised over drink plans

The BMA has applied for an extension to the drinks licence at its London headquarters, days after calling for the licensing laws to be tightened.

Last week a BMA report argued that a liberal approach to alcohol had failed, and called on the government to distance itself from the drinks industry.

Recommendations included raising the tax on alcoholic drinks, cutting the number of licences to sell alcohol, and reducing the hours in which alcohol is sold.

Even as it prepared the report, the BMA was applying to Camden Council for the licence at its Tavistock Square headquarters to be extended to 1am.

During the council's enquiry into the proposals, residents complained of revellers 'frolicking on scaffolding', drinking and of 'problems with urinating' in the street.

David Poley, the chief executive of drink industry body the Portman Group, accused the BMA of hypocrisy.

Mr Poley added: 'The BMA is proposing draconian measures while trying to profit from the liberal drinking environment.

'It is pity it does not trust the public the way it does its own profession.'

A BMA spokesman said that the bar was used only for functions such as weddings.

He also rejected claims that guests at BMA events had been caught climbing on scaffolding.

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