- He sits on the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group.
- He helped secure a debate in the House of Commons in 2013 on the beer duty escalator.
- He said that beer was ‘in danger of becoming a luxury item’ and called for the escalator to be scrapped. You can read his full comments here on Hansard.
- His success on assisting in a beer duty cut led to having a beer named after him as he became CAMRA/SIBA/BBPA’s ‘Parliament’s Beer Champion’ in 2014. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said ‘he made a huge difference in achieving the historic beer duty cut’.
- Most recently he supported CAMRA’s manifesto for the general election. Speaking as recently as a month ago, he said: “Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and make a huge contribution to the local economy – with each injecting around £80,000 to the local area every year.“I will continue to show my support in Parliament.”
- He used to work as a barman in a Punch Taverns pub, the Chetwyn Arms. He returned to the pub in 2012 to discuss issues with the licensee about supporting the pub trade. He said: ‘As somebody who once had a part-time job in a pub, I recognise the importance of pubs as a community asset and as a vital source of local employment and I have been delighted to do my bit to save the great British pub.’
- He voted with the government on the MRO option as part of the pubs code.
- His other parliamentary interests include being the chair of the APPG on town centres and vice chair of the group on street and covered markets.
- He has voted in 2011 against banning smoking in vehicles where there are children, but has since voted for newer legislation referencing children under 18 years old.
- He is opposed to equal gay rights – voting against equality legislation four times – and has voted to repeal the Human Rights Act.
His appointment has been welcomed by senior trade figures.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the ALMR
"We very warmly welcome Marcus to his new role. We already know that he understand the sector and has supported many of our campaigns on beer duty and community pubs, so we are sure he will hit the ground running. More importantly, as a former local authority leader, chair of the All Party Group on Town Centres and a Small Business Ambassador, we know he has a good understanding of the value of eating and drinking out and the night time economy to our high streets and the need for a supportive regulatory framework for the thousands of small businesses within the sector to continue to invest in jobs and growth. We look forward to working with him on the delivering that and addressing the most pressing priorities – business rates, planning, jobs taxes and red tape."
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA
"I am delighted to welcome Marcus Jones to the role of Community Pubs Minister. It is also good to see that Marcus has responsibility for the Future High Streets Forum of which I am a member. He has been of great support to the industry, especially in helping us secure a historic hat trick in beer duty and has been named a BBPA beer champion two years in a row. I am sure he will continue to build upon his impressive track record of supporting our sector in his new role."