Leeds: MPs united in campaign to save pubs

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A Leeds MP’s campaign to save the Great British pub has won overwhelming support across the House of Commons.

Greg Mulholland’s Early Day Motion has secured the backing of 270 out of the 506 backbench MPs allowed to sign such petitions.

The support has made it the most popular motion of the last 12 months.

It urges ministers to “implement a package of policies which will help secure the future of viable and well-run community pubs”.

And it comes as a report claimed that the 584 pubs in Leeds are worth £268.4m to the city’s economy each year.

Research commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association found that 14,503 people are employed by the pub and brewing industry in Leeds, earning £178.6m in wages.

The BBPA said the study proves why ministers must think again about increasing beer tax in next week’s Budget.

Mr Mulholland, the MP for Leeds North West, wants the Government to overhaul planning laws to give better protection to community pubs.

He also wants reform of the beer-tie, which sees pubs tied to agreements with pub companies which can restrict the beers they can sell.

The Closed Pubs Project lists more than 60 Leeds pubs that have been given their last orders, most in the last two or three years.

An investigation by the Business and Enterprise Select Committee in 2008 found that 50 per cent of lessees were earning less than £15,000 a year, even when their pubs were turning over £500,000 a year.

Mr Mulholland said he was “delighted” at the support for his campaign, adding: “This is a very clear demonstration of the importance of safeguarding community pubs and I welcome the support from fellow MPs.”

PIC: Simon Hulme

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