South Craven MP Julian Smith (left) has rolled out his backing for a new beer industry campaign.

He took part in a “message in a barrel” event at Westminster supporting calls by brewers and pubs for a freeze in beer duty in the Chancellor’s next Budget.

The gathering was organised by the British Beer & Pub Association, Campaign for Real Ale and Society for Independent Brewers.

Mr Smith, who recently visited Black Sheep Brewery in Masham to hear firsthand about the industry’s concerns, said: “The brewing and pub industry is hugely important in my constituency.

"I am keen to do all I can to support the businesses and our rural pubs, that are so often at the heart of our community.”

The barrel used at the Westminster event was made from oak by Theakston’s cooper, Jonathan Manby.