Newark MP Patrick Mercer will be speaking in a parliamentary debate today on the Government's controversial "beer tax escalator" policy.

It was introduced back in March 2008, raising the duty on beer by 2% above the rate of inflation.

Since then, the British Beer and Pub Association say that the tax on beer has risen by more than 40%.

"We are dependent on a thriving pub industry in order to sell our beers and any further pub closures will hurt us, as well being a huge social loss to the local community. "Tax is now on average over a pound a pint in the pub and further rises are just not sustainable."

According to The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), pub closures have increased from 12 a week in the past year.

A petition with 100,000 signatures will be handed over at today.