Pubs of Ulster welcomes Toby Perkins MP to Belfast

Pubs of Ulster welcomes Toby Perkins MP to Belfast

09 October 2013

Pubs of Ulster Chief Executive, Colin Neill, has welcomed Shadow Pubs Minister Toby Perkins MP to Belfast.

Mr Perkins was in the city to learn about Northern Ireland’s liquor licensing laws and to hear about the Responsible Retailing Code to ban irresponsible drinks promotions, which has now been in operation for over a year.


Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Pubs of Ulster said:


“We are encouraged that Toby has come to Belfast to meet local publicans and learn about our liquor licensing system which is currently under review. As a responsible industry we need updated legislation that allows us to operate in an environment that is always changing. The hospitality industry in Northern Ireland is modernising in order to maintain its position as a key draw for tourists. We are providing a world class product and this requires legislation that is fit for purpose.”


“We are taking the opportunity to highlight our Responsible Retailing Code to Toby, which demonstrates our industry’s commitment to selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring that the pub remains the safest place to consume and enjoy alcohol. We have a zero-tolerance approach to irresponsible practices and we hope that Toby can take our example and look at replicating it elsewhere.”


“We are encouraged that later this month the campaign to reduce VAT for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector will be raised directly at Westminster. This already builds on the good work that has been carried out at the NI Assembly in relation to this issue. We would call on Toby to do what he can to support a lower VAT rate for the hospitality industry in order to help stimulate growth and boost tourism here.”


Shadow Pubs Minister Toby Perkins MP said:


“Labour are determined to support and save community pubs right across the UK.  In GB the number of pub closures per week has reached 26 and I am determined to reverse this trend.  This is why I am very grateful for Pubs of Ulster for giving me the opportunity to come to Northern Ireland to speak with them and Northern Ireland MLAs and learn about the system of liquor licensing that operates here.  I hope I can learn a lot of lessons which the next One Nation Labour government can replicate across the UK.”