UCL News


Prof hits out over 24-hour boozing

1 December 2005

The liver specialist who has been treating George Best yesterday hit out at Britain's new 24-hour drinking laws.

Professor Roger Williams warned the move would lead to more boozing.

He said: "We see in our wards people in their 30s with advanced liver diseases, their life ruined. I see liver disease all around increasing. "I just cannot accept that any measure that results in an increase in alcohol consumption in this country as a whole can be justified.

"I don't think there is any evidence that lengthening the periods of drinking in this country will lead to less alcohol consumption. It will lead to more."…

Since 1996 he has been director of the Institute of Hepatology at University College London Hospital…. Professor Williams, who successfully carried out Best's liver transplant in 2002, added: "I would like to see two things - first of all, more costly alcohol, less access through supermarkets to cheap alcohol, less promotion of people being able to get two drinks for one at a cheap price.

"It's hideous to think people will be in and out of supermarkets all night drinking. What a country. I would also like to see this country take a real lead in morality and drinking habits and what the country is about socially. Alcohol, drinking, this awful binge culture, violence - all this is a reflection of a society that's falling apart. Now these drinking laws are making it even worse."

Tom Parry, 'The Mirror', 25 November 2005