Two pro-pub MPs have given their backing to the appointment of John Healey as the first ever pubs minister.
Labour MP and chair of the All Party Beer Group John Grogan said Healey was the "ideal man" for the role.
"This is great news. It was John who inspired the Beer Group to undertake our Community Pubs Inquiry a few years ago in an effort to focus on the problems pubs were facing.
"He is a pub supporter and knows his onions when it comes to the pub trade."
Grogan added: "It also indicates that pubs will play a big part in the election campaign."
Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland, also chair of the Save the Pub Group, also welcomed the news. "It is good news but it would have been much more positive had it happened a number of years ago," he said.
"It is very late in the day but I know John and he does support the pub.
"I hope that in its few remaining months, the Government focuses on the issues as it can still bring forward change to the industry."
Mulholland said he had written to Healey a number of times in regard to changing the planning law around pubs to protect them from being demolished.
"I have also made him aware of the structural issues with some of the bigger pubcos and the way they operate the tie. I do think it is a positive move but it is a shame it did not happen sooner."
Mulholland has written to Healey asking for an urgent meeting with the Save the Pub Group.
Back in 2007, Healey — then a Treasury minister — told the Community Pubs Inquiry that pubs were important to local communities and the British economy.
Healey said he was a big fan of pubs. "One of my favourite things is going to the pub and I believe pubs have a very important place in the community and in the economy and I would like to see them survive and develop and be the vibrant places many of them currently are."