MP tables motion in protest at choice of Heineken as official Olympic beer

06 July 2012 by
MP tables motion in protest at choice of Heineken as official Olympic beer

An MP has tabled a parliamentary motion criticising the Olympic committee for choosing Heineken as the official beer of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Greg Mulholland, chair of the All Parliamentary Save the Pub Group and MP for Leeds North-west, argued that the Olympic committee should have chosen a beer traditionally brewed in the UK, as opposed to a drink which has its origins in Europe.

The Early Day Motion (EDM) claimed the move to install Heineken as the official Olympic beer was "a wholly inappropriate decision based purely on the size of Heineken's cheque book, and totally at odds with the strong emphasis on British character and identity at the heart of both the original bid and the preparations for the forthcoming London games".

Mulholland said: "The Olympic Games is a prime opportunity for Britain to showcase the best of British, including the opportunity to promote its traditional beers and its thriving brewing industry. By opting for Heineken as the official beer, the opportunity has been lost."

The motion calls on the Government to ensure that any further opportunities to showcase British produce to the rest of the world are "not lost to non-British companies purely for financial benefits".

A spokesman from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) said: "This type of sponsorship deal is normal in sport. Previous games have had lager sponsors and sports such as football, cricket and rugby have major lager sponsors as well. The deal was announced in February 2011 following a full, open and comprehensive procurement process. In addition, the Heineken group has a significant UK presence, employing over two thousand people across its brands."

By Neil Gerrard

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