Government departments have been at loggerheads over the issue of a display ban on tobacco products ahead of this week's Queen Speech, The Grocer has learnt.

Health minister Alan Johnson is understood to have wanted to stick to his guns over introducing the ban, believing that the current DH consultation on reducing cancer had provided sufficient evidence that a ban would be an effective weapon.

However Business Secretary Peter Mandelson is understood to have ruled against the move, keen to avoid measures that might have a negative impact on the economy and the small business community in particular.