According to a recent Freedom of Information request, MPs only have access to a three low and no options across Commons watering holes including the Pugin Room, Press Bar, Smoking Room and Strangers Bar.
However, in response to a letter from the group, Hoyle said he would be “pleased to play part in highlighting availability of low and no alcohol products in the Commons” when Parliament’s bars reopen.
MPs have been unable to lay their hands on a Parliamentary pint since the Westminster estate’s bars called last orders on 15 October in line with London’s move into what were then tier two restrictions.
Keep MPs on their A game
As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA) on 11 November, Club Soda and a number of low and no-alcohol drink makers wrote to the Commons’ speaker to encourage the Westminster estate's bars to stock more alcohol-free drinks.
The letter, which was signed by the likes of Heineken, Sea Arch, Square Root, Lucky Saint, Big Drop Brewing Co and Real Kombucha, explained that in light of the Department of Health’s commitment to increase in the availability of alcohol-free products by 2025, it seems only right Parliament should have more than the three non-alcoholic options available.
“Parliament and its bars should be a showcase for that so we welcome the chance to be a part of it, whilst helping to keep MPs on their A game,” Rob Fink, founder & CEO of Big Drop Brewing Co said after the group made initial contact.
The Commons speaker’s response, which explained he had discussed how the estate’s bars could list more low and non-alcoholic drinks with catering services management team that looks after Parliament’s bars, has been welcomed by founder of Club Soda Laura Willoughby MBE.
“As millions take part in a Dry January we are pleased that Parliament will get the same great choice of options as the rest of us do when we go to our local pub,” she said.
“Sales of low and no alcohol drinks have continued to increase throughout lockdown. We are pleased Parliament has recognised that diverse social spaces are about more than the strength of the drink in your glass.”