The future of the role of pubs minister looks uncertain, according to one of the frontrunners for the job.
Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group Greg Mulholland cast doubt on whether the post would be created at all, either as a dedicated minister for pubs, or as part of the responsibilities of a minister with more than one portfolio.
In a comment made on Twitter he said: "Seems clear there will be no ‘Minister for Pubs'. John Healey never really was that, but we do need to know who in DCLG will do the role."
The Labour Government installed John Healey, the former housing minister, as its pubs minister just months before the General Election. Healey then set out a 12-point plan to help pubs, including a £3.3m cash pot to help community pubs, and a commitment to force pubcos to offer free-of-tie leases.
Mulholland had been one of the favourites to replace Healey, along with Tory MP Nigel Evans. Mulholland said he would fight to ensure that the new Government kept pubs in the spotlight: "I will be taking up that point, the Govt must have a focus on pubs. I will do all I can to ensure it does," he said.
The Department for Communities and Local Government was unable to comment on whether or not a new pubs minister would be appointed.
By Neil Gerrard
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