REAL ale lovers persuaded three Oxfordshire MPs to ask George Osborne to review his beer duty escalator yesterday.

Members of all four Oxfordshire branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) were among about 1,000 people who took part in the organisation’s biggest campaigning event. Members met MPs at the Houses of Parliament lobbying for a cut in the escalator duty on beer, which is two per cent above inflation.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood backed a review, along with Oxford East’s Andrew Smith and Banbury’s Sir Tony Baldry.

Miss Blackwood said: “Pubs are not the source of the problems we face with alcohol abuse in this country, they are part of the solution.

“I shall be pressing the Treasury to instigate a prompt review of the effectiveness of beer duty escalator and its impact on the industry, while bearing in mind the economic realities we have to operate within.”