Scottish MPs approve 50p minimum unit price for alcohol

Minimum unit alcohol pricing will be introduced in Scotland after the Scottish Parliament voted to approve the measure.

The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing)(Scotland) Bill will introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol of 50p.

The Bill was backed by 86 members of parliament, with 32 abstentions and one vote against.

Sir Ian Gilmore, special adviser to the Royal College of Physicians on alcohol and chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, welcomed the bill’s approval by parliament.

'Health care professionals throughout Scotland deal with the consequences of heavy drinking on a daily basis and will be delighted that the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill has passed,’ he said. ‘A minimum unit price is the fairest and most targeted way of helping those most at risk of damage to their health – young people and the heaviest drinkers.’

Labour MPs in the Scottish parliament abstained from voting on the motion, and the one vote against came from MSP for Perthshire South and Kinrossshire and minister for community safety Roseanna Cunningham. She revealed on the social networking site Twitter that she had ‘accidentally’ voted against the Bill.

She later added: ‘Going to have to hide from @NicolaSturgeon.’

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