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Brown to keep 24-hour alcohol license

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: Round-the-clock drinking law not responsible for binge drinking, the Government claims

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not abolish the Licensing Act because official figures show it is not fuelling binge drinking, The Times has reported.

Brown will, instead, focus on tackling alcohol related harm via tougher enforcement of existing laws, including underage sales.

The Times said the report on the review of the Act, due early this year, is expected to dismiss claims that licensing reform has fuelled binge drinking and have worked well on the whole, with only minor changes needed.

Brown announced his intention to personally review the act shortly after he became Prime Minister and has since signalled his intention to take a close interest in the industry.

Most notably, he held a breakfast summit meeting with trade leaders last November when he called for a "co-ordinated" approach to deal with underage and binge drinking.