Favourite to head Beer Group holds seat

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mp nigel evans, Uk mps 2005-, Members of the united kingdom parliament for english constituencies

Tory MP Nigel Evans, currently vice chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, has easily held his North West seat in the general election....

Tory MP Nigel Evans, currently vice chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, has easily held his North West seat in the general election.

Evans, who gained just over 50 per cent of the vote in his contituency of Ribble Valley, is expected by some insiders to take on the role of chairman of the Beer Group in the new Parliament.

He would replace former Labour MP John Grogan as chairman, who stepped down at this election after a boundary change in his consituency of Selby.

During his time as chairman Grogan often appeared reluctant to criticise the pubcos and the operation of the beer tie.

However, Evans could take a different approach to the issue. During a debate on pubs in Parliament in February, Evans said: "I believe the beer tie today has the pub industry over a barrel and penalises the landlord."

He said the tie could be "oppressive" and needed to be "opened up" as a matter of "urgency".

Other prominent figures in the pub industry have also kept their seats, including Greg Mulholland, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group; licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe, shadow licensing minister Tobias Ellwood minister for pubs John Healey and Business, Innovations and Skills Committee chairman Peter Luff.

However Labour MP Sally Keeble, who has spoken out in favour of minimum pricing, lost her Northampton North seat.

Related topics: Beer

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