Top Totty banned from Commons bar
Published 02/02/2012 | 13:53
A beer called Top Totty has been banned from a Parliamentary bar because its pump plate featuring a half-naked lady offended women.
Shadow equalities minister Kate Green was left "disturbed" after seeing the 4% ale's advertising in a popular Westminster watering hole and demanded bar staff remove it from sale.
Within 90 minutes House authorities ordered the beer to be withdrawn after Commons' Leader Sir George Young told MPs: "Action will be taken." A barman told the Press Association: "I can confirm it was withdrawn from sale at 1.30pm."
The bitter backlash developed after Ms Green told the Commons: "I was disturbed last night to learn that the guest beer in the Strangers' Bar is called Top Totty and there is a picture of a nearly naked woman on the tap."
She called for a debate on "dignity at work in Parliament" and asked Sir George to back her demands for Top Totty to be "withdrawn immediately from the bar".
Top Totty's Stafford-based brewer Slater's describes the ale as "a stunning blonde beer, full-bodied with a voluptuous hop aroma". Its website adds: "This award winning beer, brewed solely with Whitbread Goldings hops, produces an initial burst of bitterness with a citrus fruity finish."
Speaking as MPs discussed future Commons business, Sir George said he was "not aware of this particular picture" but pledged to raise the issue with House authorities.
He added: "I am sure appropriate action will be taken. I would very much regret it if any offensive pictures were on display in any part of the House."
Commons Speaker John Bercow's wife Sally, who last year famously posed in just a bed sheet for a photo shoot, took to Twitter to vent her anger at the beer. She wrote: "Cannot *believe* that there's a beer called Top Totty on sale in the Commons! Outrageous - does Mr B know?"
The beer's withdrawal will come as a blow to Tory MP Jeremy Lefroy, who organised for Top Totty to be sold in the Strangers' Bar. Announcing its introduction as the bar's guest ale, the Stafford MP said: "This is a great opportunity to showcase a fantastic and award winning beer."