A WALSHAW pub-owning couple were in Parliament on Tuesday – but unlike the Prime Minister, their sense of anticipation had nothing to do with the Brexit deal vote.

Richard and Lisa Moore were waiting to hear how their pub – the Victoria on Hall Street – had fared in the final of the Parliamentary Pub of the Year awards.

Unlike Mrs May, they had cause to celebrate because they won the title for the North West region.

“It felt outstanding to be recognised in this way,” said Richard, who along with Lisa, took over the pub less than two years ago.

The couple travelled down to the Houses of Parliament for the inaugural awards ceremony and afterwards, enjoyed a reception on the famous terrace overlooking the Thames.

Mr Moore said: “When we got back home we opened the prosecco and had a celebration with all our wonderful staff.”

The Victoria underwent a £115,000 refurbishment after being taken over by the couple in March 2017.

It regularly hosts locally organised craft and book clubs, as well as supporting nearby Christ Church Walshaw and holding live entertainment nights each Saturday.

It was nominated by Bury North MP James Frith.

He said: “The work Lisa and Richard have done to transform The Victoria is so impressive. I was delighted to welcome them to Parliament to receive their award.

“Competition was high so to get a North West region runner up is a big deal.”

He added: “I am especially impressed with their employment of young people and deep links to our wider community, including our elderly and local church groups.”

The national competition aimed to recognise the important role pubs play in British life and the value they add to the local communities and local economy.

Following nomination by their local MP, each pub had to submit a short video portraying the character of the pub and their engagement with their customers and local community.

As you would expect from an English region that is fiercely proud of its pub culture, the North West produced the highest number of entrants from any of the English regions - with pubs ranging from music pubs, sports pubs, gastro-pubs and craft beer outlets.

As a result, the judging process was particularly challenging and a runners-up prize was awarded to the Victoria for its strong commitment to its staff, a successful apprenticeship programme and a focus on cellar quality.

Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pub Group, Toby Perkins, MP, said: “The presentations took place on momentous night for Parliament and it was a memorable night for all our finalists. The quality of the entries was outstanding and we have a very worthy regional winner in the Victoria.

“Pubs play a crucial and much-loved role in our daily life and the enthusiasm that MPs have shown in promoting the claim of their locals to this title shows the pride that our communities take in our pubs."