JD Wetherspoon, the manager pub operator, has become the third company to join the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) in the last month. The c.825-strong chain, which is led by Tim Martin, joins Spirit and Stonegate, which also recently became members of the trade body. Martin said: “The biggest threat to competitiveness and job creation in our sector is the tax system. That is why our top priorities as a company are to reduce VAT for pubs and to harmonise alcohol duty with the EU average. ALMR is best placed to deliver that and we are very pleased to be working with them on these and other issues.” Nick Bish, chief executive of the ALMR, said: “Wetherspoon is not only an iconic brand and patently successful, but also thanks to Tim Martin's drive, passion and enthusiasm, it been ahead of the curve in retail innovation and political debate for the past twenty years. It is exactly this type of dynamic, entrepreneurial company the ALMR champions with Government and it is fantastic to have them on board helping to make our business case.”