BURY South MP Christian Wakeford has spoken movingly of how his family struggled to find help for his late older brother as he battled alcohol addiction

And he has urged ministers to adopt a wide-ranging strategy to tackle the issue, after the difficulties his relatives faced.

Mr Wakeford spoke in the House of Commons of how securing assistance for his brother, Mark Jones, who died five years ago, had been "a postcode lottery".

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Government is aiming to publish a new UK-wide cross-government addiction strategy which will include alcohol.

Mr Wakeford said: "Alcohol addiction can not only destroy lives, but end lives. Five years ago, I lost my older brother Mark to alcohol addiction.

"Trying to find services and the help for him at the time was extremely difficult and indeed a postcode lottery.

"Will (Mr Rees-Mogg) allow for a debate in Government time to discuss drug and alcohol rehabilitation and addiction and the need for a Government strategy on alcohol to help ensure that no-one else needlessly loses a loved one?"

Mr Rees-Mogg responded: "(Mr Wakeford) raises a very difficult issue. It is true to say that overall alcohol consumption has fallen over the last 13 to 14 years.

"But the harms associated with alcohol remain too high and every death caused by alcohol misuse is a tragedy and a terrible family tragedy particularly.

"The Government is committed to tackling health harms from alcohol and supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse.

"And we do aim to publish a new UK-wide cross-government addiction strategy which will include alcohol."

He added: "We have the best health service in the world and we need to marshal those resources to help people suffering from addiction and particularly addiction to alcohol."

His brother, Mark Jones, lost his life when his car flipped onto its roof on the M65 in February 2015, while he was on his way to deliver Valentine's Day presents to his partner.

Mr Wakeford described his brother then as having a "heart of gold". The 44-year-old father-of-two was an engineer who grew up in Fence, near Burnley.