Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron completely restructured his Cabinet with some major changes to ministries that affect the pub sector.
It was confirmed earlier this week that Brandon Lewis, the Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, who is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG), is to take the role of community pubs minister. He replaces Bob Neill, who lost his position and headed to the back benches last week.
Lewis has supported the pub trade by doing a shift behind the bar as part of the MPs in pubs campaign.
Also, within the same department, Don Foster, the former Liberal Democrat spokesman for pubs, was made a Parliamentary under secretary, which was welcomed by the trade.
Former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt replaced Andrew Lansley as health secretary. Norman Lamb, who was the Parliamentary under secretary of state for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs, with responsibility for the self-regulation agreement over the pubco-tenant relationship, moved to the position of care services minister. He was replaced by Jo Swinson, who is a Scottish Liberal Democrat MP.
Kate Nicholls, of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said the reshuffle could present a chance for the industry to promote itself to Government.
“This reshuffle presents us with an opportunity to push for further reforms to planning, red tape and employment, in order to allow our sector to deliver job creation and growth,” Nicholls said.
“With the Government under increasing criticism for the double-dip recession and stagnant growth, the new-look Cabinet is likely to attempt to deliver a de-regulatory, business-friendly environment in order to foster a return to growth in the UK economy.”
British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds told M&C Report, sister title to the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: “I am absolutely delighted about [the appointment of] Jeremy Hunt. I’ve known him for many years.
“I have had many discussions with Jeremy Hunt about many issues, although not to do with health. I have already written to him and asked for a meeting.”