Speaking at the Red Lion on London’s Whitehall yesterday, pro-pubs MP Greg Mulholland encouraged a room full of MPs to speak to licensees about the importance of the British pub.
British Pub Week, which kicked off last Friday (28 October), aims to get people back into pubs by promoting their positive impact on society through a series of events.
Mulholland, also chair of Save the Pub Group, said: “The message is very simple to MPs, please do this week, make sure you visit a pub in your area and introduce yourself to the licensee and tell them you support the Great British pub and British Pub Week, and ask them what you can do to get the messages of how important the pub is to our leaders and to the Government.”
He added: “It is so important to have a week where we celebrate the Great British pub and its unique role in British society. This is about celebrating the pub and celebrating everything the pub does. It is very much not just a base of where we can enjoy a glass of our great national drink, but it is much more than that. The British pub is a hub for community activity, in many areas the pub is effectively the local community centre. It’s also a centre for sporting activities, and pubs raise a remarkable amount every year for charity.”
BII chief executive Neil Robertson said: “We have a very simple exhortation today which I don’t think is very onerous. This is British Pub Week, I want you all to go into one of your local pubs and speak to the licensee and give him some encouragment and support. It’s not too much to ask – that’s our only ask of you.
“This week is something that every part of the industry agrees on because it’s reminding us all of the importance of the Great British pub and its role in our community."
Inez Ward, chair of British Pub Week, added: “The Great British pub is so important, and we should all do our best to help those pubs and to celebrate them, and that’s what British Pub Week is all about. It’s a celebration about everything that is great about the British pub. And it’s about uniting everybody that supports pubs to come together and celebrate the icon that is the British pub.
“I’d like to say to the politicians, please do get out there. Go and talk to your licensees, they’re there for you. Support them. You help them, they can help you.”