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Labour pledges strong support for pubs

The Labour party has “out-Ukipped” UKIP, with five-times as many of its election candidates pledging support for community pubs than its famously beer-loving rivals.

A total of 167 Labour MPs and election candidates have lent their support to a pledge backing local pubs and Britain’s 1300 breweries. Just 31 UKIP members have so far signed the pledge, organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

A total of 500 candidates from 350 constituencies have supported the campaign. Along with 167 from Labour and 31 from UKIP there are a further 108 from the Conservative party, 103 Liberal Democrats and 76 Green party members signed up.

Ahead of the UK general election in May, MPs and candidates will target pub-goers as a key voter demographic to win over, having witnessed the success of UKIP and its beer-swilling leader Nigel Farage in voters from the main parties.

According to a CAMRA survey from January, 75% of pub-goers say a well-run local pub is as important to community life as a post office, local shop or community centre.

On the campaign, CAMRA’s chief executive Tim Page commented: “CAMRA is delighted that 500 general election candidates have committed to back real ale and community pubs. It’s looking like a three horse race to win the title of “Most Pro-Pub Party” with Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems all having over 100 candidates signed up already.

“This overwhelming response from candidates is great news for beer drinkers and pub goers alike and will be crucial to CAMRA delivering yet more successful campaigns over the next five years,” he said.

CAMRA chief executive Tim Page (Photo: CAMRA)

With 29 pubs a week currently closing in the UK, CAMRA say it is “essential” that future MPs pledge their support for the pub and beer industry, an industry which it is clear people still believe to be important.

“Pubs are hugely important and deserve to be properly protected and supported. CAMRA want to see action in the next parliament from newly elected MPs and we are urging all parties to include commitments in their manifestos to supporting real ale and community pubs,” Page added.

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