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    ‘Labour MPs more supportive of stricter measures on unhealthy foods’

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    A good majority of Labour MPs would support more intervention on unhealthy foods, a recent survey has found.

    According to a poll conducted YouGov and commissioned by Cavendish Consulting, over half (52 per cent) of Labour MPs would support greater intervention on high sugar products, compared to less than a fifth (18 per cent) of Conservative MPs.

    A third (33 per cent) of MPs would support government intervention to reduce the consumption of high-sugar foods and drinks while 44 per cent of Labour MPs would support greater intervention on fast food, compared to 18 per cent of Conservative MPs.

    Our polling – conducted by YouGov – found that a majority of Labour MPs (52 per cent) would support greater Government intervention to reduce the nation’s consumption of high sugar food and drinks. Interestingly, this is even if the intervention increased costs for consumers.

    By contrast, only 18 per cent of Conservative MPs said they would support such measures.

    “This insight should help food retailers and manufacturers better understand what we might expect from Labour on HFSS and we can be pretty confident that a Labour Government would be tougher on unhealthy products than its Conservative predecessors,” states Cavendish Consulting.

    “The lack of progress from successive Conservative administrations in this space will leave Labour with a number of oven-ready policies that would be easy for them to introduce if elected to Government. In addition to the watershed ban on advertising, which Labour has already committed to, the banning of promotional offers on HFSS products as well as increasing reporting or labelling requirements for retailers could also be on the cards.

    “But the results of this polling also suggest an appetite amongst Labour MPs for introducing more stringent measures – such as an extension of the sugar tax – once cost-of-living pressures on households begin to subside and the party are no longer fighting an election.

    “Ultimately, there’s good reason to believe that a Labour Government would be significantly more amenable to intervention on HFSS than its Conservative predecessors. With the Labour Party maintaining a strong lead in the polls, food retailers ought to prepare for the likelihood of a change in Government and, with it, a new attitude to intervention.”

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