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Press Release

18/02/2020

This round’s on us – Labour leadership contenders invited down to their local to talk pubs

For more information, contact press on 01727 337 863 or email press@camra.org.uk   

Labour leadership contenders Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey have been invited for a pint at their favourite pub for a chat with CAMRA about the benefits Britain’s beloved locals bring to communities and the threats they face.

As the leadership election continues, CAMRA has offered to get the beers in for all the contenders – if they are willing to meet and hear about actions, they could support to safeguard the country’s centuries-old tradition of socialising at the pub.

The 192,000-strong pubgoers’ group’s calls include investigating radical changes to the UK’s beer tax system, which could slash the cost of a pub pint closer to the price of ale in supermarkets.

CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona said: “I’m inviting the Labour leadership candidates to join me for a pint in their local. Britain’s pubs are a force for good and a driver of unity – bringing people together regardless of background, race or political colour, and showing Britain at its best to the rest of the world.

“Pubs are essential to community life, helping to tackle loneliness, improve people’s mental health and encourage those who choose to drink to do so in a social and supervised environment. Unfortunately, far too many are still fighting for survival.

Ahead of the Budget next month, their importance cannot be overstated – the pubs and brewing industry alone support 900,000 jobs and contribute £23 billion to the UK economy. 

“I hope that all of the candidates take up this offer of a pint and meet me to chat about how they can help to save our pubs.”

CAMRA is calling on the next Labour leader to look at supporting three key reforms: 

  • A preferential rate of tax for draught beer to reduce the cost of beer served in pubs
  • an urgent review of the business rates system to protect the high street and community pubs, with immediate support for the hardest-hit venues in the interim;
  • and better regulation of the massive companies which own many UK pubs, some of which have a record of treating the tenants who run them unfairly.

Full information and the text of the letter can be found below.

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Notes to editors: 

Text of letter 

I am writing as the National Chairman for CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. We are a consumer organisation with nearly 192,000 members across the UK, and campaign for great quality real ale, cider, perry and community pubs.

Beer and pubs are a unique part of our culture and heritage, and CAMRA seeks to make sure we have high-quality beer and thriving pubs in every community. Pubs play a pivotal role in communities across the country, providing a space for local people to meet, helping to tackle loneliness, and having a positive impact on the personal wellbeing of pub-goers. 

On behalf of our members, I would like to ask if you would consider supporting the following measures for the beer and pub industry if you become leader of the Labour Party:

  • Supporting a new system of beer duty designed to support the responsible consumption of alcohol in pubs rather than the off-trade
  • Committing to a full review of the business rates system to relieve the unfair burden on the pub sector
  • Championing Great British beer and pubs
  • Supporting consumer choice for beer and cider drinkers
  • Calling for the completion of, and supporting any outcomes from, the ongoing Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Review of the Pubs Code, which is aimed at ensuring that large pub companies in England and Wales treat tied tenants fairly.

If you find the time during your campaign, I would be delighted to buy you a pint, on CAMRA, at your local pub to talk further about our aims and vision for the beer and pub industry today and into the future.   

I look forward to hearing about your plans for our Great British Beer and Pubs.

Nik Antona

CAMRA National Chairman

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