Minister quits to steer Bill

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A Tory MP last night said he had resigned as a ministerial aide at the Home Office, in order to introduce a Private Member's Bill to tackle underage drinking in the street. The Bill will carry guidance to stop the police raiding picnics.

Robert Spink, the MP for Castle Point in Essex, said he was forced by parliamentary convention to give up his role as a parliamentary private secretary to take up the measure, which was drafted by the Home Office.

Police will be able to confiscate alcohol from people under 18, and tackle underage drinking in the street. Anyone refusing to obey police could be guilty of an offence carrying a fine of pounds 500. Colin Brown