One of the UK’s top pub bosses has branded Diageo “a complete bunch of morons” in response to the drinks giant’s proposal to raise duty on beer.

Tim Martin of JD Wetherspoon told the Morning Advertiser the chain would refuse to sell Diageo products unless it “radically changes its tune” over taxation.

Diageo this week called on the government to bring duty on beer, wine and cider into line with the tax levied on spirits, a move it said could raise up to £1.9bn extra revenue.

But Martin dismissed the proposal as “transparent” and warned the Guinness brewer to “consult their customers more before they make these sorts of statements”.

His outburst came as the British Beer & Pub Assoctaion today claimed that alcohol consumption last year saw its biggest annual drop since 1948.

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