Diageo has signalled its support for the Portman Group in the face of government scrutiny. The organisation, of which Diageo is a founder member, has been criticised in the light of headlines surrounding binge drinking, calls from academics for a more independent policy review body, and the revision of the law pertaining to licensing hours. However, speaking at the firm’s annual general meeting Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh called dismissing Portman "premature". He said: "The Portman Group has been a strong force in uniting the drinks industry. It still has an important role to play as we move towards more flexible licensing hours."