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UK Politics

Danny Alexander embraces 'ginger rodent' nickname as he attends launch of beer named in his honour


Danny Alexander MP has celebrated the launch of Ginger Rodent beer which shares the moniker fired at him as an insult by a Labour opponent.

The Chief Treasury Secretary attended the launch by Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore and even promised to take a couple of bottles back to Westminster for Harriet Harman.

Ms Harman, deputy Labour leader, branded Mr Alexander "a ginger rodent" in a speech to the Scottish Labour party conference in 2010 and was later forced to apologise.

The red-haired Highland MP remains good-humoured about the nickname, previously posting on social networking site Twitter: "I am proud to be ginger and rodents do valuable work cleaning up mess others leave behind."

Mr Alexander also announced an expansion for the brewery during his visit.

"I am very pleased to congratulate Cairngorm Brewery on their expansion plans. It is hugely encouraging to see a local company quickly establish its presence in such a competitive market. The investment here stands the company and the community in good stead and I look forward to it prospering.

"The new beer? Very nice. I'll maybe take a couple of bottles down to Harriet Harman for her to savour."

The £1.6 million expansion, backed by funding from Bank of Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund, includes a bottling hall which enables the brewery to handle bottling for other firms.

Ginger Rodent is the latest beer to be produced by the company which has a track record for brewing colourfully named tipples such as Nessie's Monster Mash and Santa's Sledgehammer.

Managing director Samantha Faircliff said: "Our business has grown considerably since our early days and it makes sense to do our own bottling here.

"I'm pleased to say we have had some very encouraging responses from other breweries thinking of entrusting their bottling to us and I am confident we will be handling the bottling requirements for a number of Scottish brewers when we become fully operational next year.

"Ginger Rodent is the 11th beer we now produce here, and full marks to Danny Alexander for joining in the fun. I don't know if he can get it into the bars in the House of Commons but it would be a nice addition."