A second major retailer has swung behind the Prime Minister’s plans to bring in minimum pricing for alcohol in England.

The Co-operative Group told The Grocer it believed the strategy may be effective in reducing alcohol consumption, representing a shift from its previous strong opposition to the move. It joins Tesco, which has already said it will work with David Cameron to develop plans to force up the price of cheap booze.

The Co-op Group gave evidence to the Scottish inquiry into minimum pricing in which it vehemently opposed minimum pricing.

But this week it admitted the measure may work, as long as it was not used in isolation.

“We believe that minimum pricing, in conjunction with other more targeted measures, may have a role to play in changing behaviour in order to reduce alcohol consumption,” said a spokeswoman.