MPs Stephen Gilbert, Sheryll Murray, Sarah Newton, George Eustice and Dan Rogerson accepted a personal invitation from James Staughton, Managing Director of St Austell Brewery, one of Cornwall’s largest private-sector employers.
It is hoped the bar shifts will give them a greater understanding of the pub trade, and also give them a chance to pull pints for their local constituents.
Mr Staughton said: “I am delighted our MPs have taken this opportunity to show their support for the industry and learn a bit more about the pressures faced by pubs and their staff. Pubs play a vital role in our economy and are often the hub of local communities.
“St Austell Brewery is committed to ensuring that local pubs retain their special character and remain vibrant places, well placed to serve their communities in the years to come. While we are confident the vast majority of pubs in the region can have a strong, positive future we know only too well the daily pressures in adapting to customer behaviour and market change and it is a sad fact that in some cases the viability of individual pubs will be threatened.
“Issues such as record levels of red tape and beer tax need addressing if we are to help protect this great British institution and promote safe, responsible drinking – and our MPs can help make that happen.”
The first MP to work a bar shift was Stephen Gilbert, MP for Newquay and St Austell, who was at the Polgooth Inn, Polgooth on Saturday.
He said: “In order to hear more about the problems faced by the pub industry and what could be done to help, I volunteered to roll up my sleeves, get out of the office, and hear about the problems firsthand from the other side of the bar.
“On top of this we have been helping raise money for a good cause as the wages I would have earned will be donated to St Petroc’s, the charity for the homeless.”
On Friday 7th October, Sheryll Murray, MP for South East Cornwall, will be working at The Ship Inn, Looe, while Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, is at the Lemon Arms, Mylor Bridge on Saturday 8th October. George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle will work at The Tyacks Hotel, Camborne, also on Saturday 8th October and on Friday 28th October Dan Rogerson, MP for North Cornwall, will work at The Molesworth Arms, Wadebridge.
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