The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of 'sitting on their hands' instead of doing something to stem the increase in alcohol related liver disease.

Department of Health figures show there has been a 61 per cent increase in the number of liver transplants as a result of alcohol misuse since 1997-98.

Liberal Democrat culture, media and sports spokesman Don Foster said: "These figures are a stark warning about the impact alcohol is having on health services in this country. Britain's binge drinking culture is causing serious long term health problems for an ever increasing number of people."

He said it was now time for the government to consider tackling alcohol misuse through increasing retail prices.