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Sir Graham Brady announced as new chair of Wine and Spirits APPG

Published:  18 May, 2023

Sir Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West, has been announced as the new chair of Wine and Spirits APPG.

Brady will step down from parliament at the next election as the longest-serving Chair of the 1922 Committee, having worked with five prime ministers during his tenure.

Visiting the London Wine Fair this week Brady said: “I am very pleased to take up the role as chair for the APPG for Wine and Spirits and look forward to flying the flag for the UK’s outstanding wine and spirit sector. There are many challenges ahead for the trade and I intend to make sure the government understands how best to help support it.”

He was also able to hear, first-hand, how wine and spirit businesses will be impacted by the new alcohol taxation system from 1 August.

“Talking to businesses at the London Wine Fair today it is clear that the new duty increases will have a damaging economic impact on the sector and it is imperative that we do all we can to avoid any job losses and unnecessary cost increases for consumers,” Brady added.

The WSTA acts as secretariat to the Wine and Spirit APPG and has worked closely with the group over the years by raising the profile of the industry and securing several freezes in the wine and spirits duty.

However, the government intends to implement a 10% duty hike for spirits and a staggering 20% for wine from 1 August. It is the largest increase in spirits duty since 1981 and in wine duty since 1975.

Brady has submitted several PQs challenging the duty hikes and the WSTA hopes the government will listen to the concerns of British businesses and prevent punishing price rises for cash-strapped consumers.

Miles Beale, CEO of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “We were delighted that MPs have elected as experienced an MP as Sir Graham Brady to the chair of the APPG for Wine and Spirits, which the WSTA is proud to support. He brings with him a passion for our members’ products, a belief in fairness and a desire to help UK businesses thrive. We both believe enthusiastically that the world-renowned UK wine and spirit sector deserves much better support from the government.  

“In particular Sir Graham understands that the ‘double whammy’ tax hike – the highest single increase for almost 50 years – which comes into force this summer is a particularly bitter blow for the UK's SME-rich wine and fortified wine businesses.”

The APPG also announced the re-endorsement of father of the house, Sir Peter Bottomley, and deputy speaker, Nigel Evans as officers.  

Two new Labour officers were also elected, giving the group a strong cross-party identity. Charlotte Nichols, chair of the Pubs APPG will provide links between industries, while Marsha DeCordova has several WSTA members and other industry stakeholders in her Battersea constituency.