FIGURES showing Britain has lost 10,000 pubs in a decade have been greeted with dismay by Wirral Euro MP Paul Nuttall.

The statistic show four pubs a week are closing down in the North West.

Nationally, 26 are closing per week – more than 1,000 a year.

Many commentators believe the pub smoking ban introduced in July 2007 and a tax regime that favours supermarkets over pubs are responsible.

Earlier this year two further Wirral pubs called last orders after bids to find a buyer failed.

The Chronicle in Bebington and The Ravenscroft in Heswall both closed their doors for the last time on January 6 after the Bramwell Pub Company – of which both were a part– fell into administration last October.

"And sadly more will close especially if tax and costs keep rising," Mr Nuttall warned today.

"In the North West alone, where nearly 20,000 jobs depend on the region's 14 breweries and 1049 pubs, four a week are closing.

“And this at a time when jobs are scarce and people are struggling to get by.

"It cannot be right that supermarkets pay 1.5p in tax on a pint of beer yet pubs pay 15p," added Mr Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader.

"The pub trade has always been a vital component in community life but it has been steadily eroded over the last ten years and although the number closing each week has slowed down it is a trend that is still continuing.

"Pubs are being treated unfairly by the financial levies imposed and this situation needs to be addressed urgently.

"The Government should be helping ease their financial burden and guaranteeing a level playing field so supermarkets do not have an unfair advantage with cut-price booze prices.”

He added: "Pubs were badly hit with the smoking ban and those that want to have properly-ventilated rooms set aside for smokers should be able to do so.

“That one move alone could help some pubs from disappearing forever."

Action on Smoking and Health says the ban has been hugely beneficial.

"It is one of the most important public health acts in the last century,” said a spokesman.

The ban was popular with British adults when it was implemented - and a 2012 poll of more than 12,000 people found that 78% of adults still support it.