Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw says scrapping minimum booze pricing is good for local cider makers
Scrapping plans for minimum booze pricing would be a "huge relief" to local cider makers who would have been hard hit by the move said Exeter's MP.
Ben Bradshaw said there was no evidence the controversial measure would have tackled problem drinking.
He was responding to growing speculation that the plans for minimum pricing of alcohol are being dropped.
David Cameron had thrown his weight behind the policy, which medical groups argue would save lives.
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A consultation document issued last year floated a base price of 45p per unit, and the Government has yet to release its conclusions.
However, a number of Cabinet ministers including Theresa May, Andrew Lansley and Michael Gove have made clear they harbour doubts.
Speculation has been growing for some weeks that the proposals will be shelved amid criticism that it will unfairly punish responsible drinkers on low incomes.
Mr Bradshaw said: "I welcome this latest Cameron U-turn. There is no evidence that a minimum price would reduce problem drinking, but it would hit responsible drinkers on modest incomes hard.
"There are for more effective ways of tackling problem drinking through better health education and targeted intervention.
"This will also come as a huge relief to our local cider makers who would have been very hard hit by a minimum price and I'd like to thank them for their support in my campaign against this ill-conceived and damaging proposal."
But the British Medical Association (BMA) has urged the Prime Minister to "be courageous" and take a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save lives, save the country money".
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, director of professional activities at the BMA, said it would help problem drinkers "kick the habit".
"Having nailed his colours very firmly to the mast and said this is something the Prime Minister wants to do because he recognises the tragedy that alcohol is causing in our society, it would be bizarre for him to let it wither," she said.