PULLING pints and serving customers was a bit of a change from the norm for Hexham’s elected Member of Parliament.

But Guy Opperman was keen to get behind the bar to show his support for the hospitality sector, which is accountable for one in 10 jobs across the country.

Mr Opperman headed to the Black Bull, in Corbridge, as part of a national campaign from trade association UKHospitality which challenged MPs across the UK to work in their local hospitality venues.

The campaign was started to raise awareness of the work carried out to keep pubs, hotels, restaurants and the like alive, while also highlighting the skill sets required for these type of jobs.

After meeting with Linda Wears, the general manager of the Black Bull, Mr Opperman praised the local hospitality sector which provided 2,800 jobs across Tynedale.

He said: “The largest sector for a rural economy like Tynedale is tourism, and I regard pubs and restaurants as part of that tourism offer and you need to keep punters and locals happy to create a thriving atmosphere which will appeal to an overseas visitor. Northumberland recently won tourist destination of the year and our tourism offer is the fastest growing in the country, so I definitely support what the local hospitality sector offers.

“At the Black Bull, which employs 20 people, most of the people working here are local people. And that is key because we want local jobs for local people.”

David Sheen, public affairs director for UKHospitality, said: “I’m really pleased Guy could meet us here and there are people in Parliament who understand the industry.”