The Naked Chef Jamie Oliver has told a UK’s parliamentary committee that a tax on sugary drinks should be imposed in an effort to thwart the country’s obesity crisis.

Oliver called for a "hypothecated" 20% tax per litre of sugary drinks, which he said could raise £1bn ($1.5bn) per year, while speaking to MPs on Monday. He explained that a sugar levy could add 7p to the price of a 300ml can of fizzy juice.

But when members of the health select committee suggested there "wouldn’t be a fiscal measure", the celebrity chef and healthy living campaigner argued that the British Prime Minister David Cameron has "not written off" a tax on sugar but that he had to be "brave" and show the junk food industry "who is boss".

"The discussions I’ve had are robust, and Mr Cameron is reviewing everything and seems to be interrogating [sugar tax proposals] it well."

Oliver said his proposals are not radical, and the sugar tax is "one part" of an overall strategy but that it is "deeply symbolic".

Oliver told the committee members that money raised from a sugar tax could go towards NHS and food education strategies: "Half a billion pounds divided by 24,000 primary schools in this country is £20,000 of real money. That’s proper, strategic money."

The Prime Mister’s spokesperson has previously said the Government does not plan to introduce a sugar tax.

Yet Duncan Selbie¸ chief executive of Public Health England (PHE), appeared at the health select committee before Oliver, as he was defending his department’s decision not to publish a scientific paper relating to sugar tax proposals on food and drinks.

The PHE paper had been ready for publication in July. Yet Selbie told the health select committee there is "no conspiracy" and the PHE sugar review will be released.

Oliver described the last 30 years of British Governments as "doing an incredible disservice to children" by failing to address the health crisis caused by fatty foods.

Oliver has already imposed a 10p sugar levy on drinks in his own restaurants, and the money raised is directed to health education and food programmes.