POLITICS
19/10/2015 12:57 BST | Updated 19/10/2015 13:59 BST

Jamie Oliver Tells David Cameron To Be 'Brave' And Impose Sugar Tax On Drinks

Jamie Oliver has urged David Cameron to be "brave" and impose a tax on sugary drinks in order to tackle obesity.

The TV chef also said on Monday there should be a ban on junk food being advertised on television before 9pm.

Oliver told the Commons health committee today successive governments over the last 30 years had done an "incredible disservice to children" .

He told MPs it was time drinks manufacturers were reminded it was the government that was in charge and were told "who's boss". He added: "Industry must be kept in line and it mustn’t run this country".

Oliver has been campaigning for a levy on sugary drinks, amassing nearly 150,000 signatures on a petition demanding a Commons debate.

He said he was not suggesting a ban as he would be "kicked out of Britain very quickly" but that a tax was needed. "I love sugar, I think it's great. I have never said ban sugary sweet drinks I have never said stop using it," he said.

"Who is running the country?" he asked. "Is it the businesses who are profiting from ill health in children or is it us?"

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Oliver said he believed the prime minister saw child health as "very important" and was open to a tax but needed public support.

"Parents in Britain and people involved in public health need to hold Mr Cameron to be brave and strong and support him," he said.

Oliver also rejected the idea of a tax on sugary drinks went too far. "I refuse accept that I am radical or unrealistic," he said. "It's not radical because the French are doing it ... they are being brave, why can't we?"

The chef said he recongised the idea of a new tax was a hard sell, but it would be "symbolic of a government that is willing to fight tooth and nail for public health and most importantly child health".

He also told MPs there were too many adverts for junk food before 9pm and it should be banned. And warned advertising online was an "absolute minefield that we just haven’t even got our head around".

Photo galleryJamie Oliver's Grocery Shopping Tips See Gallery