The chairman of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain today criticised the binge culture in Britain and blamed heavy-drinking celebrities.

Excess all areas: drinking antics of stars like Lily Allen 'are being copied by the public'

Tim Martin said drunken antics at major music events and well-publicised excesses after sporting success fuelled the country's alcohol problems.

His remarks came as Chancellor Alistair Darling was planning to raise taxes on spirits for the first time in a decade when he delivers his Budget next week.

The Tories also tried to pre-empt Mr Darling by announcing that they would impose a 50p tax on alcopops, super-strength lager and cider.

Just weeks ago, Tottenham Hotspur footballers were seen staggering out of nightclubs after beating Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final.

And at the Brit Awards last month, TV bosses were forced to pull the plug on the Arctic Monkeys when the band unleashed an abusive tirade after winning Best British Group.

Mr Martin said: "The central problems concerning people who misbehave when drinking are cultural ones.

"This is demonstrated by examples of poor behaviour by a number of celebrities during the recent televised Brit Awards and by habitual drunken celebrations in the context of sporting events and other occasions, which then receive huge press coverage.

"This sort of behaviour is not a new phenomenon, and is frequently replicated by the general public during birthday parties, stag and hen parties and so on.

"Although it is often perceived that pubs benefit from these sorts of occasions, it is our experience that they are often bad for the pub trade, since they are difficult for pub staff to deal with and can be intimidating for the majority of customers."

He also criticised the Government's focus on underage drinking - something Mr Martin does not see as a major cause of the problem.

Analysts have calculated a 10 per cent rise in alcohol duties would result in a 10 per cent fall in consumption.

Each percentage point increase in duties in next Wednesday's Budget would raise £40million for the Treasury from beer, £25million from wine and £5 million from spirits. The Department for Health has been pressing the Chancellor to increase duties to send a strong signal about the need to tackle Britain's drinking culture.

A British Medical Association spokesman said: "Increased taxation would reduce alcohol consumption and its related harms, and would also contribute to providing the necessary funding to meet the social and economic costs of these harms."

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said: "All the conversations I have had over the last year with police officers, supermarkets and those whose lives are made miserable by the behaviour of binge drinkers have convinced me that we need to take targeted action against the super-strength drinks and alcopops favoured by young drinkers."

He added: "You can tackle the binge drinks without having an overall increase in the tax on alcohol, without having a stealth tax really on ordinary people who go about drinking and don't cause the trouble."