OTLEY’S MP has called on the Government to reduce the tax burden on pubs.

Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) raised the issue in the House of Commons during a debate on Beer and Pub Taxation.

Highlighting the pressure that many local inns are under, he said: “Many independent pubs in my constituency, particularly in Otley, complain about business rates as well as beer duty.

“Does my Hon friend agree that that is also an important taxation issue?”

Mr Sobel has been campaigning on the subject for some time and previously said: “The Leeds North West constituency has many excellent pubs and I would hate to see any of these community cornerstones close due to these tax burdens.”

Pointing out that the industry contributes £23 billion to the economy and employs more than 900,000 people, while suffering weekly pub closures, he is calling on the Government to take steps to ‘protect the valuable role the British pub provides’.