A Staffordshire MP has said the tax on beer, which currently rises at inflation plus 2%, was hitting British jobs.

Conservative MP for South Staffordshire Gavin Williamson has urged ministers to freeze or reverse the beer duty escalator.

He was supported by nearly 40 MPs who packed in to the Commons to call on the Government to cut the tax on beer sold in pubs.

Adjournment debates usually attract just a handful of MPs, but 38 MPs - mostly Tories - stayed in the Commons until the early hours of Tuesday to support Mr Williamson's call.

He said 86% of beer sold in pubs was produced in the UK, while only 0.2% of wine sold was produced in this country.

Mr Williamson said: "The simple reality is that beer duty is getting to the point where it is too high and it's pricing people out of the market."

But Treasury Minister Chloe Smith said the Government had to cut the budget deficit.

She said she wanted to reverse the trend against "free-loading", where people drink cheaper alcohol at home before going out.

Miss Smith said: "The decline that some talk about in the industry is influenced by a number of factors - people's habits are changing, people have more choice. The moving of the escalator would not solve this problem."