Andrew Griffiths MP has announced he will step down as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group following his appointment as a member of the Government Whips’ Office.
Parliamentary rules mean members of the Government are not allowed to chair all-party groups. Griffiths, MP for Burton, has been chairman of the Beer Group for five years.
He said: “It has been a huge honour and a privilege to represent one of the UK’s vital industries and to chair what I believe to be the best All-Party Group in Parliament.
“The group has made a massive impact promoting the interests of Britain’s beer lovers and pubgoers. None of this could have been achieved without the support of MPs and Peers from all political parties.”
An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group will be held in Parliament during September to elect a new chair.
Meanwhile, industry leaders paid tribute to Griffiths’ work with the group.
Titanic Brewery managing director Keith Bott said: “In the five years that Andrew has been chairman of the group he has transformed the Government’s perception of beer and pubs.
“The scrapping of the beer duty escalator and three years of duty cuts coupled with a further freeze has seen beer sales in growth for the first time in more than a decade. The success over issues such as duty stamps and business rates has helped to see a record number of breweries across the country and a reduction in pub closures.”
Campaign for Real Ale chairman Colin Valentine said: “As chairman of the Beer Group, Andrew has been a leading champion of brewing in the UK. There is no doubt that Andrew’s work on the campaign to end the beer duty escalator was hugely influential in the successful battle to have it scrapped and for the subsequent reductions. These reductions in beer duty have in turn supported the resurgence of brewing in the UK over recent years.”