New pubs minister finally confirmed

By Ed Bedington & Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Tapped up: new pubs minister (right) pours a pint with barman (left)
Tapped up: new pubs minister (right) pours a pint with barman (left)
Jake Berry, Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen, has confirmed he's been appointed to the role of pubs minister, the Morning Advertiser can reveal.

Responding after the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) refused to confirm or deny the appointment, Berry said he'd been asked to take on the role "by the Secretary of State, and he's my boss".

Describing the job as a "hot ticket" among fellow MPs, Berry said he would ensure the sector was given his attention, despite his brief being wider than just pubs.

Berry, replaced Andrew Percy in the latest Government reshuffle which saw him take over responsibility of the Northern Powerhouse, the same remit that Percy had held.

Berry became an MP in 2010 and was appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state at the DCLG on 14 June 2017.

In May 2015 he was appointed as parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Greg Hands MP, chief secretary to the Treasury. Prior to that he was PPS to Grant Shapps MP, the former minister for housing and local government and Conservative Party chairman.  

According to theyworkforyou.com Berry has voted against requiring pub companies to offer pub landlords rent-only leases.

On 18 November, 2014 he voted against requiring large pub-owning businesses to offer their tenants and leaseholders a market rent only option. In January of the same year he also voted against a statutory code of practice for large pub companies, which would require them to offer the option of a rent only leases.   

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "I very much welcome this appointment, as Jake Berry knows our industry well. He has always been supportive, and with his new appointment attended the reception of the Beer Group dinner last night. His role as High Streets Minister fits in really well with pubs, and I look forward to making the case for pub-friendly policies when it comes to tax and regulation in our sector.”

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailer chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “I met with the new Pubs Minister last night and was impressed with his knowledge of, and passion for, the sector.

“Jake is passionate about pubs and passionate about supporting the sector as part of driving growth in the Northern Powerhouse. I would like to congratulate Jake on his appointment and I look forward to working closely with him to support this fantastic and important sector.”


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