Jeremy Hunt announces new hotline for kids with alcoholic parents

Posted On: 
31st December 2017

A new helpline for children with alcoholic parents will be launched amid a rare moment of cross-party unity between the Conservatives and Labour.

Labour frontbencher Jon Ashworth has spoken out about growing up with an alcoholic father
PA Images

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the plan as he commended the “bravery” of his shadow Jon Ashworth in speaking out about his own experience of being raised by an alcoholic father.

Mr Ashworth spoke in parliament earlier this year about how at the age of eight he became the main carer for his dad who was often too drunk to buy food or walk him home from school.

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The new plan is part of a strategy to support the 200,000 children in Britain raised by alcoholic parents, the Government explained.

Mr Hunt said: “I pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of people like Jon Ashworth who have spoken out about this issue with such honesty and passion...

“This issue transcends party politics and I am committed to working with Jon, the parliamentary group and charities to deliver a plan that helps change the story for these young people.”

Mr Ashworth said: “I am delighted that Jeremy Hunt has agreed to fund a national helpline so the children of alcoholics need not suffer in silence.”

In an exclusive article for PoliticsHome, he added: “It could literally be a New Year’s lifeline for thousands of children currently experiencing what I and so many others have gone through before.”

Some £500,000 will be used to expand a local helpline while a support plan for kids will be hammered out by MPs on a cross-party basis.