More MPs get behind the bar as part of 'MPs in pubs' campaign

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: All-party parliamentary beer, Public house, Parliamentary beer group

Pulling power: MP Jessica Lee at the Stanhope Arms
Pulling power: MP Jessica Lee at the Stanhope Arms
More MPs are getting behind the bar of their local pub as part of the ‘MPs in Pubs’ campaign, launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) last year, and supported by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

The campaign is aimed at giving licensees the chance to raise trade issues with their local politicians and at the same time let them experience the industry.

Jessica Lee, Conservative MP for Erewash, Derbyshire, stepped behind the bar last month as part of her work with the APPBG and pulled pints with Punch licensee Judy Fowler at the Stanhope Arms in Stanton-by-Dale.

She said: “I wanted to do this shift to support the Great British pub industry.”

Pontypridd Labour MP Owen Smith did something similar at the Crown Inn, Llantwit Fardre, South Wales. Host Gwyneth Spadaro-Dutturi said: “Our regulars had a chance to ask Owen how Labour would improve things for pub-goers, in particular, a reduction in the crippling VAT rate.”

All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group secretary Robert Humphreys said: "Although this project was launched by our chairman Andrew Griffiths MP as long ago as last summer, MPs are still queuing up to get involved.

"Reports of more are coming in by the week, with over 50, including two ministers, having already completed their turns and another two dozen in the pipeline. And that's just the ones we've been told about.

"Persuading your MP to do a short stint behind your bar has turned out to be an easy task, and most Members have found the experience has given them valuable insight into the challenging life of a licensee as well as showing the customers they're happy to get stuck in, especially when the local paper is keen to print a photograph of the event. Publicans who have yet to get involved should join the bandwagon now."

Related topics: Legislation

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