Tesco boss is the ‘Godfather' of binge drinking

07 December 2007 by
Tesco boss is the ‘Godfather' of binge drinking

The head of the all-party Parliamentary beer group has branded the chief executive of Tesco as the "godfather of British binge drinking".

Speaking at a Commons debate on alcohol yesterday, Labour MP John Grogan slammed the supermarket group for selling booze at below cost price.

The Selby MP said: "It is with regret I say this, but I do really want to charge Terence Leahy, the boss of Tesco, as being the godfather of British binge drinking.

"We are talking about selling alcohol below the cost of water. It isn't baked beans. There has to be a little bit of a different attitude."

He backed calls by Barnsley MP Eric Illsley, made earlier in the debate, for supermarkets to follow the pub trade by establishing a code of practice to "outlaw irresponsible promotions".

A Tesco spokesman said Grogan's comments were "as offensive as they are inaccurate" adding the company had a "leading role" in tackling binge drinking.

The issue of pricing was raised at Gordon Brown's recent alcohol summit, but the prime minister's official spokesman said: "These are decisions made by commercial organisations."

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By Daniel Thomas

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