First Brown, now Cameron: host grills PM

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Business rates, Prime minister of the united kingdom, Gordon brown, Tony blair

Making a point: Doyle with Miliband in April
Making a point: Doyle with Miliband in April
A Swindon licensee who bent the ear of Gordon Brown before the General Election has pulled off the same trick with David Cameron.

A Swindon licensee who bent the ear of Gordon Brown about business rates before the General Election has pulled off the same trick with David Cameron.

John Doyle, Enterprise tenant at the Queensfield pub, approached the Prime Minister after his visit to the town's Honda factory.

"He was in Costa coffee in Swindon rail station when I managed to get past his bouncers," Doyle told the Morning Advertiser.

"I shook his hand and introduced myself and said, 'we have a problem in the pub trade'. His colleagues took my details and about one hour later called up and spoke to a member of bar staff."

Cameron's official asked Doyle to write to the PM outlining his concerns, which he has done and is waiting for a reply.

The licensee is angry that he's had no response from the Valuation Office Agency to his appeal against his business rates bill, which stands at £1,100 per month.

In his letter, Doyle offers Cameron a pint in his pub to discuss the problem.

The letter reads: "I am now asking for your help to address this situation by contacting the departments involved.

"If your Government's new big society policy is to work then small businesses like mine need to survive and be helped to grow in these trying times."

Doyle said several licensees in his area have been to touch to say they're suffering because of their rates bills. He plans to present a petition to Parliament on business rates later this month.

And that's not all he has planned.

"I might even approach Barack Obama when he comes to England to meet the Queen," Doyle revealed

In April 2010 Doyle approached Brown and current Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who was then climate change secretary, at a children's centre in the town.

The licensee, who also works as a taxi driver, told Brown and Miliband that he was on the verge of going bankrupt.

Related topics: Legislation

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