OTLEY’S former MP is helping spearhead a new national Campaign for Pubs.

Greg Mulholland won awards for his work on behalf of inns and their licensees during his 12 year tenure as the (Lib Dem) MP for Leeds North West.

He is still heavily involved in the sector and is the Chair of the British Pub Confederation and Fair Deal for Your Local, a Top 40 CAMRA campaigner and Otley Pub Club’s President.

Mr Mulholland has now been named as the Campaign Director for the Campaign for Pubs, ‘a grassroots campaign with a clear mission to promote, support and protect pubs’.

The campaign - on Twitter @campaignforpubs - has been established by a group of prominent licensees, campaigners, small brewers and supporters including academics, musicians and actors.

Formed partly in response to the to crisis the industry is facing due to the coronavirus lockdown, its mission statement is to push for a ‘better, freer and fairer, more sustainable pub sector...with more pubs in the hands of those who genuinely care about them’.

Mr Mulholland said: “It’s high time that all who are passionate about pubs came together to speak with one voice to campaign vigorously for a better, more independent future and I am delighted the Campaign for Pubs has begun.

“We have lost too many pubs due to predatory purchasing, greed and apathy and it is time we had a radical new grassroots campaign to bring communities together, publicans and customers, to say enough is enough and fight to preserve pub culture and defend the key role pubs play in our communities, local economies, history and heritage.”

The campaign costs £25 a year to join (£40 for a couple) with the subscriptions being used to fund campaigning work on key issues.

Chair Paul Crossman said: “There is an urgent need for a dynamic new campaign group providing a real voice for pubs and those who love and support them and we will begin by calling for urgent action to support and save pubs facing huge losses due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We will campaign vigorously, along with the British Pub Confederation, for more support for pubs now and will then campaign for the key changes that are needed to deliver a more independent and sustainable future for pubs, one which will allow them to truly thrive as cornerstones of their communities as all pubs should.

“For less than the price of a pint a month, you can help stand up for pubs and publicans.

“So please join us today and fight for pubs!”

To find out more visit https://campaignforpubs.org.uk.