CAMRA mounted a successful national campaign to scrap the Beer Duty Escalator, due to the effect it was having on pubs' finances and consequently their viability as a business. CAMRA considered it to be a majour contributory factor in the increase in the number of pubs closing.
The first stage of the campaign was an E Petition to the Goverment. This petition had over 100,000 signatories, which led to a debate in the House of Commons. The 100 MPs present at that debate unanimously passed a motion opposing the Beer Duty Escalator.
The second stage of the campaign was a lobby of MPs of 12th December 2012. CAMRA members came from all over the country to put the case for scrapping the Beer Duty Escalator to their local MPs.
Pete Bridle organised a coach from Bristol (which national CAMRA paid for). The coach dropped us in Westminster. We then went to the Emmanuel Centre, where CAMRA briefed us and gave us tea and biscuits. We then went to Parliament and through the security to lobby our MPs. Around 24 local CAMRA members (including one from Cardiff and seven from the Pubs Group) took part and we lobbied most of the local MPs.
The photos above shows Steven Williams (Bristol West MP) being lobbied by six of his constituents and Steve Webb (Thornbury and Yate MP) being lobbied by two of his constituents. Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East MP) issued a press release after the lobbying in support of CAMRA's campaign. Click here for the full press release.
We then returned to the Emmanuel Centre (via a recommended pub) to be debriefed and receive a complementary pint from CAMRA. There was then a rally with guest speakers including Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West MP), who was quoted in an article in the Metro earlier in the day (click here for the article).
The guest speakers included people in the pubs trade (as well as MPs and CAMRA executive members). The picture below is of a Norwich landlady - Mrs Dawn Hopkins
A delegation from CAMRA lobbied 10 Downing Street as part of the lobby of Parliament
As this trip was organised by CAMRA, there was time to visit some more recommended pubs in Westminster and local pubs on our return to Bristol. A bonus for some, was being taken to the Strangers Bar in the House of Commons by their local MP after the lobbying
There is an article by Pete Bridle on the Lobby of Parliament in Pints West 97 (Spring 2013 issue). There is in addition a lot more about the effect of the Beer Duty Escalator and the Parliamentary Lobbying on these two sites maintained by National CAMRA.