The Association of Chief Police Officers has attacked the pub trade's clandestine decision to suspend its own voluntary code of conduct ahead of a damning report on its failings last week.
It has emerged that pub trade body the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) wrote to its members in June telling them they had received legal advice that its voluntary code for drinks promotions could contravene EU law.
As a result it withdrew the code ahead of the publication of a KPMG composed report for the Department of Health and Home Office last week, which accused the on-trade of failing to adhere to the very same voluntary standards.
The Government has now launched a consultation on mandatory codes for the responsible retail of alcohol in pubs, which will run until October.
Chris Allison, the lead on alcohol at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) told the Guardian in response to news of the withdrawal: "Sadly the trade repeatedly shows that it cannot be relied upon to consistently act in a responsible way."
But Mark Hastings, director of communications at the BBPA, told Caterersearch that the withdrawal of the codes was "old news" although he refused to comment further.
When the KPMG report was published last week the BBPA stated that it was illegal to enforce agreements on promotions across the sector, although it didn't reveal that it had withdrawn its own voluntary code.
By Christopher Walton
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