John named ‘beer champion

John Healey has been named a ‘beer champion’.

The Wentworth & Dearne MP and former pubs minister was presented with a special award in Parliament and a bottle of beer brewed especially for the occasion.

The new award is a joint initiative from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

They wanted to recognise Mr Healey for backing Britain’s national drink in 2013, and especially for his support for the cut in beer duty announced at last year’s Budget.

The beer-loving MP made the first Budget 2013 submission, calling on the Chancellor to cut the price of a pint on Budget Day 2012.

As well as calling for a cut in beer tax, Mr Healey has long supported reform of the pub industry, which he has said favours big pub companies at the expense of pub goers, tenants and lessees.

He has called for a statutory code of practice for large pub companies to help “tied” pubs, and raised concerns that the Government have still not published their response to a public consultation on the issue last summer.

Mr Healey said: “Beer is a great British industry and tradition and I am pleased to have been named a ‘beer champion’.

“The temporary beer duty escalator was set to end in 2012 and its extension by the Government did great damage to our pubs and brewers.

“I will continue to campaign for the Government to give a lot more support to pubs and for the big pub companies to give landlords and pub goers a much better deal.”

The brewing and pubs industry employs more than 1,300 people in the Wentworth & Dearne constituency and adds £22m to the local economy.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “I want to thank Mr Healey for making a huge difference in achieving the historic duty cut in 2013. We are delighted to honour this achievement in the best way possible – with a great new beer.”