RISHI Sunak was heckled over drink price rises as he toured a London beer festival to highlight a shake-up of alcohol duty, which has sparked a furious backlash.

The Prime Minister was pouring a pint of Black Dub stout at the stall of the Wensleydale brewery, which operates from his constituency, when an onlooker called out: “Prime Minister, oh the irony that you’re raising alcohol duty on the day that you’re pulling a pint.”

The heckler was Rudi Keyser, a 46-year-old who runs a chain pub in London’s Wimbledon.

The former brewer said afterwards that Sunak’s claim that drinkers and businesses will benefit is just “smoke and mirrors”.

“It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said, insisting the consumers will see an increase in prices as a result of the changes.

“And he has the audacity to come and pull a pint for PR,” he added.

Another man shouted at the teetotal Tory leader, who is famously a fan of carbonated soft drinks: “Prime Minister, it’s not Coca Cola.”

A new system taxing all alcohol based on its strength has seen taxes rise for some types of drink.

First set out by then-chancellor Sunak in 2021, it aims to encourage drinkers to cut back by taxing all alcohol based on its strength, rather than the previous categories of wine, beer, spirits, and ciders.

Sunak described the overhaul as “the most radical simplification of alcohol duties for over 140 years”, enabled by Britain’s exit from the EU, which has been described by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt as a “Brexit Pub Guarantee”.

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But it has been met with anger by Scotland’s whisky industry, who said it would increase the cost of every bottle sold in the UK by almost a pound and mean the tax burden on the average priced bottle is now 75%.

Scotland’s licensed trade sector has also condemned the changes as “naïve and fanciful”, warning that a reduction in draught beer and cider duty will not necessarily be passed on by drinks’ producers.

In March’s Budget, Hunt also announced that the freeze to alcohol duty would end on August 1 and increase by inflation, at 10.1%.

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The increase will see duty rise by 44p on a bottle of wine, which when combined with VAT will mean consumers will pay an extra 53p, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Duty on 18% cream sherry will go up from £2.98 to £3.85, with VAT adding up to an increase of more than £1 a bottle, while a bottle of port will go up by more than £1.50.

The total tax on a bottle of gin or vodka will go up by around 90p.