Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has taken up her new role as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Wine and Spirits following the Group’s recent AGM.
Nus who has been MP for Wealden since 2015, was elected to serve alongside Neil Coyle MP for Bermondsey, and will assume the role immediately.
Nus is a natural fit for the role of co-chair, with 14 vineyards in her constituency. Nus has long been an avid champion of the English wine sector, and has promoted the sector around the globe, including most recently in Washington.
In her first week in the role Nus wasted no time in asking a question in the House of Commons to Helen Whately MP, urging the Treasury Minister and the Chancellor to visit vineyards in her constituency to hear “face to face the anxieties they have over Treasury’s plans to hike tax on wine and add more red tape by increasing three rates of duty to 27.”
Nus replaces Sir Peter Bottomley MP for Worthing West who moves into an officer role, and who has been a keen supported of the APPG over recent years including during recent inquiries into post-Brexit wine documentation and SME support.
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 wine and spirits duty – most recently working hard to represent businesses impacted by the Chancellor’s alcohol duty review.
Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Nus Ghani MP as co-chair of the Wines and Spirits APPG. The WSTA works closely with the APPG throughout the year and I’m sure Nus’s passion for supporting the vineyards in her constituency will be hugely helpful as she takes up her new role. I would also like to thank Sir Peter Bottomley, who Nus takes over from, for his support for UK wine and spirit businesses over recent years.
This year will be a crucial year for wines and spirits – as the Chancellor decides how to implement the proposed changes to the Alcohol Duty Review. The current proposals are unworkable and hugely burdensome for the industry. The APPG has a crucial role to play in helping to ensure the Chancellor listens and takes on board the sector’s concerns.”
Nus Ghani MP, APPG Chair, said: “I’m delighted to have been elected as co-chair of the Wine and Spirit APPG. I am enormously proud that Wealden is the home of some of the very best vineyards in the UK and I will always champion our local winemakers, who work incredibly hard all year round to produce their excellent, award-winning products. It’s a crucial time for the wine and spirit industry and I am keen to champion the major economic benefits which the sector brings to rural communities such as those in my constituency of Wealden.
The industry, which supports thousands of UK jobs, is critical to helping rural communities achieve the Government’s pledge to level up the ‘left behind’ areas in the UK. The wine industry alone generates £250 million in duty per year and we should ensure going forwards that we can do all we can to support the growth and innovation of this sector.”