Cheap supermarket deals on alcohol do not exacerbate binge-drinking, a panel of experts has told MPs.

An All-Party Parliament­ary Group meeting heard that binge-drinking could only be curbed if wider issues in society were addressed.

"It is not because of price that people drink," said Marie Choquet, research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

"Of course consumers will buy it cheaply when they can, but they will find a way of drinking whatever the price is.

"In order to solve the problem of alcohol harm we have to dig deeper and look at why it is that people drink. Their social and cultural circumstances, families and communities are all factors."

Fellow panellist Gaye Pedlow, alcohol policy director at Diageo, said: "Cheap booze does have an effect on what people choose to drink and how they consume it, but it does not affect the levels consumed per se.

"This isn't being taken into account in the way policy is being decided at the moment."

But Jack Law, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, warned that the price of booze was still an important issue.

"If we avoid talking about the price issues then we are ignoring a potentially significant factor that could, along with other factors, make a big difference," he said.

The meeting was held to launch a new book published by the International Centre for Alcohol Policies on the subject of tackling alcohol harm.