Labour’s new leader Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner have been invited to share a pint with CAMRA and discuss the benefits Britain’s beloved locals bring to communities.
CAMRA would normally offer the new party leader and their deputy a chance to meet up for a pint in their preferred locals to discuss what actions they and their party can take to safeguard the country’s centuries old tradition of socialising at the bar.
However, the COVID-19 shutdowns mean the consumer organisation – which represents over 190,000 members – has instead invited Keir Starmer MP and Angela Rayner MP to an online discussion and Q&A with CAMRA members in their new virtual pub, the Red (On)Lion.
CAMRA has created a virtual pub for beer drinkers and pub-goers to get together for a pint, to help tackle the loneliness and social isolation felt during the Coronavirus lockdown and closure of the nation’s pubs.
As well as help for pubs and their staff during the coronavirus restrictions, the organisation’s calls include committing to 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, in order to help pubs thrive when they are allowed to re-open.
CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona said:
“The Campaign for Real Ale congratulates Keir Starmer on being elected as the new leader of the Labour party, and Angela Rayner as his deputy.
“They will undoubtedly have a busy few weeks as the country continues to deal with coronavirus, but we hope they will find time to engage with CAMRA and our 190,000 members about the need to make sure pubs survive this crisis and can thrive once we are through it.
“One thing that this period of restrictions has done is to make people realise the value of meeting up with friends and family down the pub, and how important community pubs are for tackling loneliness and social isolation. Their importance to the economy cannot be overstated either – the pubs and brewing industry alone support 900,000 jobs and contribute £23 billion to the UK economy.
“As well as giving pubs and breweries the help they need to survive the period of closures, we also need to plan for when pubs re-open and how we can help stem the rates of pub closures in recent years.
“That’s why CAMRA continues to seek support from Labour, and all political parties, for measures to support the beer and pub industry through the Covid-19 crisis and beyond, including reducing duty on draught beer to get people back into pubs when they reopen.”