§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the report of the ministerial group on alcohol misuse on young people and alcohol.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) on 19 January at columns646–47. Action has since been taken to amend the Licensing Bill to tighten the offence of selling alcohol to under-age drinkers, to increase penalties for those found guilty of doing so and to make it an offence for wholesalers to sell alcohol to people under 18. Consultations are in progress on implementing in the United Kingdom the European Community directive requiring strength labelling of alcoholic drinks. The IBA and the Advertising Standards Authority are reviewing in conjunction with the industry their codes of practice on advertising alcohol. The BBC and IBA are reviewing the portrayal of alcohol in general TV programming. Consideration is being given to various longer-term measures.