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February 6, 2009 10:22 AM

In the week when the popular Royal George at Brunton Park was demolished, Newcastle's Liberal Democrats have backed the Parliamentary 'Save the Pub' campaign.

The MPs group aims to stop the planned increase in beer duty, lower beer taxes and protect pubs through planning laws.

Ron Beadle, Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle North, said: "We are getting a spate of pubs that are under threat in Newcastle, including The Vallum in Lemington.

"These pubs are supported by local residents and the government should do more to support them too."

He called for 'a more level playing field' between the on and off trade.

"The government must take a serious look at supermarkets' pricing policies and give residents a real say when local pubs are threatened by simply to suit shareholders interests.

"If we are serious about protecting Britain's heritage then it's high time they were enshrined in planning law."