We Don't Want Round-the-Clock Drinking, Voters Tell Labour
Byline: TIM SHIPMAN
PLANS for extended drinking hours have been overwhelmingly rejected by the public, according to a poll.
Voters are opposed to the move by a margin of two to one - with women particularly angry about the Government's proposals, which critics say will lead to more binge drinking and lawlessness on the streets.
The only group backing an extension to licensing hours is the under-25s, the section of society that politicians and campaigners fear will most abuse the new freedoms.
Overall, 62 per cent of voters oppose the plans, with only 34 per cent in favour, according to the Populus poll for The Times.
Women oppose longer licensing hours by 71 per cent to 25 per cent. Labour's own supporters remain unconvinced by a margin of five to four.
Last night, Theresa May, the Tories' culture spokesman, said: 'This poll confirms what the Conservative Party have been saying all along.
'The Government have failed to listen to a whole range of experts from the police and the judiciary to the medical profession. Perhaps they will take notice of the people.' Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Jo Swinton said: 'This report comes as no surprise. Labour must reconsider its stance on licensing. The Government must get a grip on binge drinking before thinking about extending drinking hours. …