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Tory backbenchers team up with the WSTA to produce their own gin

Published:  05 October, 2017

The WSTA has continued its rallying cry to the government to support producers of British gin, by convincing the 1922 Committee on board to make its own blend. 

The 1922 Committee - a committee of all backbench Conservative MPs that meets weekly in the House of Commons – will play a part in the British Gin boom, with a soon to be crafted ‘1922 Gin’ it has been revealed.

The partnership was announced at the WSTA’s ‘Gin and Tories’ Fringe event on on Tuesday night in Manchester where Tories have been gathering for their annual party conference.

The event was hosted in association with the City of London Distillery and Berry Bros & Rudd, where Conservative MPs were urged to champion Britain’s gin industry.

CEO Miles Beale also took the opportunity to encourage MPs to support a freeze on duty for this home grown industry to grow.

Recent statistics from the WSTA show that 36.3 million bottles of gin have sold in the last 12 months in the UK off-trade.

During that time, the category broke the £500 million barrier for the first time - an increase of £200 million since 2012.

Pubs, bars and restaurants show a similar upwards trend, with 8.3 million bottles of gin sold worth £687m in the same 12 months.

The WSTA’s Budget submission, which was delivered to the Treasury last week once again criticised the duty rates on wine and spirits.

On an average-priced bottle of 40% abv gin, £8.05 is paid in duty alone.

Add VAT, and the figure rises to £10.35 on every bottle – 76% of the total average price.

“As we set out in our Budget submission, and as we made clear to MPs [on Tuesday] night, our rapidly growing British gin industry, which includes thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises - including those using one of the 89 new distilleries established in the last two years - needs the active support of government to continue to grow,” said Beale.

Backbench Tory MPs led by committee president Graham Brady will visit the City of London Distillery to choose their own gin with which to toast the 1922 Committee’s upcoming 100 year anniversary.