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.