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MP Griffiths get behind bar for a landlord’s view


Tuesday 1st November 2011 (Andrew Griffiths)

BURTON’S MP took time out from parliamentary debating to pull a few pints and raise awareness of the pressures faced by landlords.

Andrew Griffiths rolled up his sleeves and headed behind the bar at The Plough Inn, in Horninglow Road North, as part of his initiative launched so he and his fellow MPs could get a better understanding of the beleaguered pub industry.

As he took time out from chatting with the regulars, Mr Griffiths told the Mail what he learned during his shift.

He said: “I did a little bit of everything from pulling pints to collecting glasses, loading the dishwasher — as many aspects of the job as I could.

“It was a real insight into the challenges and difficulties that are faced by landlords across Burton, and also up and down the country.

“It was a brilliant night and I also had a great time interacting with the regulars.

“A barmen, I have found, is a cross between a social worker, an agony aunt and a stand up comic.

“They have to cheer people up and I think I must have done well as I got a few tips and even a few drinks.

“It was really fantastic and I would urge as many other MPs as possible to take part.

“It was really engaging and allows a first hand look at the issues people face in the industry, but more than anything I hope that these visits allow us to get a better education.

“This is so that the next time important beer-related issues come up in parliament, the MPs who have taken part are more informed and more able to do something that will benefit the industry.”

Mr Griffiths, who is also the head of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group revealed that 40 MPs have now undertaken a shift behind the bar with another 30 signed up to take part.

The scheme already has the support of community pubs minister Bob Neill and political big-hitters including Foreign Secretary William Hague and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.

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