‘Dad was an alcoholic’: MP Jonathan Ashworth urges action on drinking

Source: The Guardian

BY  and

Childhood memories of growing up with an alcoholic father have prompted the shadow health secretary to call for greater recognition of the damage done by excessive drinking.

Jonathan Ashworth said there was a need for urgent action because the cost of alcohol-related harm was not just the £3.5bn NHS price-tag, but up to £7bn in lost productivity for the British economy.

During an interview with the Guardian, the Labour MP said he also wanted there to be much more focus on the needs of families affected by alcoholism, claiming the issue would be a priority for him and Labour in 2017.

Ashworth said he was surprised to find himself disclosing, for the first time to a national newspaper, the reason he felt so passionately about the issue.

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