IN FULL: Emotional Speech from Liam Byrne at Alcohol Harm Debate
Liam Byrne MP is a patron of Nacoa UK and the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children of Alcoholics. In this role he has transformed the way that we talk about children of alcoholics in parliament and beyond.
This speech was recorded from the ‘Alcohol Harm’ Debate in the House of Commons, UK, 25th November 2021.
Byrne discusses the purpose of the All Party Parliamentary Group and its ‘Manifesto for Change’ published in 2016. Along with other speakers at the event, Byrne agrees with calls for minimum unit pricing. He also calls for greater restrictions on marketing around alcohol.
‘I grew up knowing all of the feelings that every child of an alcoholic becomes all too familiar with.’
The most powerful moments are where he talks about his own experiences as someone for whom alcoholism has ‘cascaded through the generations’. Like millions of others in the UK, Bryne is the child and the grandson of an alcoholic.
The APPG for Children of Alcoholics made great strides in the years after its establishment. After our campaigning, the government recognised the need for a children of alcoholics strategy. They then committed funding to support these vulnerable children. Here was the first such strategy of this kind in the UK.
It is with great shock and sadness this year that we saw the government totally abolish the strategy for children of alcoholics, cutting all its funding to Nacoa and other organisations involved. This will leave children of alcoholics yet again out in the cold.
We hope this is just a mistake. Following this development, the APPG for Children of Alcoholics is calling for the government to reinstate a bare minimum of support for children of alcoholics.
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