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Jolly Tar landlord Steve Snook, MP Justin Tomlinson, and brewery owner James Arkell

MP’s accolade is no small beer

Swindon brewery Arkell’s has helped its local MP celebrate after being named this year’s Parliamentary Beer Champion for his efforts to scrap the hated Beer Duty Escalator.

Swindon North MP Justin Tomlinson was invested with the accolade at the Jolly Tar in Hannington by landlord Steve Snook and brewery owner James Arkell.

He was nominated by the British Beer & Pub Association, Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers.

The Beer Duty Escalator – a device that saw taxation rise two percent above inflation ever year – was introduced in 2008. It was scrapped in the 2013 Budget after the price of a pint rose, on average, 42 percent in five years.

Mr Tomlinson said: “I am very proud to have received this award. I have worked hard to support this important industry, with the cut crucial to the long-term sustainability of our local pubs.

“In North Swindon we have 52 pubs, providing 1,412 jobs and adding £30.2 million to the local economy.

“The brewing and pub sector is a dynamic part of the local economy at the centre of the hospitality industry, our cultural heritage and the social life of every community.”

Keith Bott, chairman of the Society of Independent Brewers, said: “The small, local brewers, who make up the bulk of SIBA’s membership, applaud the work of Justin in the campaign to scrap the Beer Duty Escalator last year.

“Brewers now feel more confident about the future of the UK’s brewing industry, and able to make long-term business plans.”