Former beer group chair John Grogan MP 'delighted to be back'

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Back in beer group: John Grogan MP
Back in beer group: John Grogan MP

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The former chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) John Grogan, the MP for the Yorkshire constituency of Keighley, said he would be taking an interest in beer and pub industry issues in the House of Commons on his re-election after a seven-year break. 

Grogan, was Labour MP for Selby between 1997 and 2010, and chair of the APPBG between 2001 and 2010. He stepped down in 2010 after a boundary change in his Selby constituency. 

He told The Morning Advertiser​ he would be rejoining the beer group but admitted he had “done his stint” as chair and would not be putting in a bid for re-election. 

Former chairman Graham Evans MP lost his seat at the last election so the position of chairman is now vacant. There will be a meeting of the group in the next few weeks where a new chair will be elected.

“I am delighted to be back. There is no industry closer to my heart than the pub and hospitality industry," he said.

“I did a good stint as chair of the group and I want to take an interest. I will certainly be speaking to the industry organisations such as SIBA (the Society of Independent Brewers), the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and British Beer & Pub Association.” 

Grogan was elected to the marginal constituency of Keighley, Yorkshire, where he won by just 239 votes, ousting Conservative MP and former Community Pubs Minister Kris Hopkins.

“The constituency is home of the famous Timothy Taylor and there are six microbreweries including Ilkley Brewery so I will be visiting them over the summer," said Grogan

Grogan, who was chair of the group when the Licensing Act 2003 was being implemented, said he would be looking in particular into the House of Lords report from Baroness Anne McIntosh. He would also revisit the issues of beer duty and minimum pricing.

“Andrew Griffiths did a wonderful job persuading Chancellor George Osborne not to increase duty for a number of years. Is that going to continue? That is going to be a big issue,” he said.

Controversially, Grogan was always an advocate of minimum pricing and said he would raise this issue again. 

Despite only being re-elected earlier this month, he is already attending the APPBG dinner as a guest of SIBA, and is hosting a reception in the House of Commons for the Campaign for Real Ale. 

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