Tories to create own gin

by Michael J Ritchie

The Conservative Party's 1922 Committee will celebrate its 100-year anniversary by crafting a batch of gin at the City of London Distillery, called 1922 Gin.

Conservative MPs were encouraged to support British gin at the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) 'Gin and Tories' Fringe event, hosted by City of London Distillery and Berry Bros & Rudd last week. In advance of the 100-year anniversary of the 1922 Committee, backbench Conservative MPs will be invited to the City of London Distillery to make 1922 Gin. Graham Brady MP, chairman of the 1922 Committee, said that the government should get behind the British gin industry, by "freeing its numerous SMEs to grow, create jobs and export". Currently, there is a duty of £8.05 paid on an average-priced bottle of gin at 40% abv, and when this is increased to include VAT, more than £10 from every bottle sold goes directly to the Treasury. Miles Beale, CEO of the WTSA, said that further increases on alcohol duty rates are expected this autumn, unless supportive action is taken by the chancellor and the government in the budget. He also suggested that foreign secretary Boris Johnson should "put his money where his mouth is" and insist on serving English sparkling wines and British gin at official functions at British Embassies overseas. Beale added: "We are delighted that Graham Brady and 1922 Committee will be making a gin with City of London Distillery; and we look forward to tasting the product of their efforts." Graham Brady said of the struggles some British companies have in selling their drinks overseas due to current regulations: "These great British entrepreneurs want to grow their brands overseas, and take advantage of the thirst for expertly crafted British drinks. They need a more supportive business environment and more support for exporting their products." Two years ago, a poll revealed that Conservative voters drank more spirits than those who voted for other parties.