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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 11:44 GMT
Campaign to bar Darling from pubs
Poster from campaign
Campaigners want the poster put up in all pubs
An Edinburgh bar is being credited with inspiring an internet campaign aimed at barring Chancellor Alistair Darling from every pub in Britain.

Organisers were angered when the MP for Edinburgh South West increased duty on alcohol in his Budget.

They are spreading their message via blogs and a Facebook group.

The campaigners were inspired by the landlord of the Utopia bar, who put a poster in his window saying that Mr Darling was not welcome in the pub.

In addition to 4p on the duty charged for a pint of beer, the chancellor increased wine duty by 14p a bottle, spirits duty by 55p a bottle and cider duty by 3p a litre.

He also announced alcohol duty would go up by 2% above inflation in each of the next four years.

Inspired by the Utopia bar on Edinburgh's Easter Road, a group has been formed on the social networking site Facebook called "Alistair Darling You're Barred".

Binge drinking

It claims that Mr Darling is hitting the licensed trade at a time when 27 pubs a week are closing because of the smoking ban and rising industry costs.

The group says that the chancellor has failed to recognise that well-run community pubs are the solution to Britain's binge-drinking problems.

Pubs in Bolton, Lewes and Oxfordshire have followed the Edinburgh bar in putting up posters.

Several have been designed, including one depicting Mr Darling as a Simpsons character in Moe's Tavern.

The text says: "Finally Alistair Darling finds a pub he is not barred from."

A spokesman for Mr Darling said: "The chancellor made it clear at the time of the budget that his priorities were alleviating child poverty and helping pensioners.

"It's a small price to pay for doing that."

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