MP praises Kilburn pub landlord who will pull his last pint tonight in ‘fair deal’ protest

Black Lion staff
L-R: Eva Tatrai, Brian Mannion and Eva Lesiak

Black Lion staff L-R: Eva Tatrai, Brian Mannion and Eva Lesiak - Credit: Archant

Brian Mannion will remove all draught beer taps from The Black Lion pub

A pub landlord in Kilburn who will pull his last pints tonight in protest at unfair charges set by his leaseholder has won praise from an MP.

Last week the Times reported that Brian Mannion, landlord of The Black Lion in Kilburn High Road, will remove all of his draught beer taps - the only pub in the country believed to do so.

After 800 years of pint pulling a special ceremony marking the end of an era will take place at 11.50pm.

Mr Mannion claims he has been forced into the move due to his pub being a “tied house” meaning he is legally obliged to purchase at least some of his beer from a property company called Enterprise Inns.

He says he has to pay Enterprise up to two thirds more for beer kegs than is typically paid by independent establishments buying on the open market, forcing him to charge customers higher prices to break even.

Mr Mannion, who has been landlord for 10 years, believes he is the first in the country to resort to these measures and MP Greg Mulholland, who heads up the Fair Deal for Your Local campaign group praised the move.

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He said: “I commend Brian for his courage in taking a stand. What he is doing is a bold move and is virtually unprecedented. It is high time we had a fair deal for our local pubs up and down the country.”

Mr Mulholland, the Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West, added: “The Fair Deal for Your Local campaign is calling for a statutory code for large pub owning companies that will include a market rent only option.

“This would stop overcharging and would allow licensees like Brian to receive a fair share of pub profits. This would mean pubs like the Black Lion succeeding and both serving their community and contributing to the economy rather than having to close due to the unfair pubco business model.”

However, Simon Townsend, chief operating officer of Enterprise Inns, said: “When he purchased the lease from a previous publican, Mr Mannion was fully aware of the contractual terms he agreed to.

“Enterprise works with thousands of successful publicans and it is very unfortunate that Mr Mannion is seeking to undermine the business relationship in this way.”