Tesco has said it wants to see curbs on the sale of cheap alcohol during this parliament.

The grocer said it welcomed a promise by the coalition government to ban below-cost sales of alcohol in England and Wales.

It also said it would back the more radical step of introducing a minimum price.

The move comes as the grocers gear up for the likelihood of a price war on alcohol ahead of the World Cup.

Tesco director of corporate affairs Lucy Neville-Rolfe told the BBC: “There is lots of cheap alcohol, so we thought lets ask the government to look at should there be a minimum price for alcohol, or should there be a ban on low cost selling.

“Could it be justified because it will deal with the problem at the lower end?”

The coalition government has said it will ban the sale of alcohol below cost price. However, it is not clear how that would work as retailers would be reluctant to reveal commercially sensitive details of deals with suppliers.