Supermarket chain Marks and Spencer has clashed with police over plans to sell alcohol from 7am in a London branch.
Marks and Spencer clash with police over plans to sell booze from 7am
Police claimed M&S bosses suggested the booze they sell is too expensive "to attract people that are alcohol dependent", in papers submitted ahead of an Islington Council licensing hearing - writes standard.co.uk
Police also condemned the high street giant for saying that there was "very little evidence to suggest that selling alcohol one hour earlier would have a negative impact".
Supermarket bosses want to sell alcohol from as early as 7am at a new Archway Foodhall branch.
The council has a policy for supermarkets only being allowed to sell alcohol from 9am.
Marks and Spencer has applied for licensing permission from 8am, and 7am in November and December.
A bottle of wine pictured inside a Marks and Spencer Simply Food store (AFP/Getty Images)
PC Petros Loizou, objecting to Marks and Spencer’s plans, said: “The rationale put forward was that they found very little evidence to suggest that selling alcohol one hour earlier would have a negative impact.
“The applicant mentions the store does not stock the products that would attract the type of people who are alcohol dependant.
“It is simply not enough to suggest selling alcohol at high premium would deter the type of people that are alcohol dependant.”
Councillors said Archway, in Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency, has a serious problem with street drinking. Cllr Kaya-Comer Schwartz added there is a "high number of vulnerable people in the area".
Council licensing officers, meanwhile, said they expected "a large retailer such as the applicant to have considered these issues in more detail.”
Marks and Spencer did not respond to the Standard's request for comment, but said its application that it "maintains comprehensive compliance procedures".
Islington's licensing sub committee is set to make a decision on whether to grant an alcohol licence on Tuesday.