AN 'ICONIC' Otley pub has been been nominated for a national award.

The Junction Inn, on Bondgate, has been put forward by MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) as a contender for Parliamentary Pub of the Year.

Mr Sobel had appealed for recommendations and testimonies via his Facebook page while deciding on which pub to nominate - and support for The Junction came flooding in.

Helen Toft posted a message to praise landlord Tony Grey, who has just retired*, for his work for the community and for going out of his way to make customers welcome.

She described Mr Grey as "the best landlord we have ever known", adding: "He takes care of everyone in his pub."

Suzy Grey, who has worked at The Junction for five years, said: "Tony has raised a huge amount of money for charity and always does his best to help the community in Otley."

Suzy added that Tony and his wife, Melanie, had helped her return to work after an illness: "The team and customers gave me so much support which I believe was crucial in my long-term recovery, and I will always be grateful for this."

Mr Sobel said he was glad to nominate the pub for an award that is supported by the All Party Parliamentary Pubs Group and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

He said: "Tony has been a fantastic servant to Otley and has created a pub with a great atmosphere, local beers and live music.

"The Junction is an iconic Otley pub which contributes immensely to the culture and thriving community spirit that has made the town famous across Yorkshire.

"I am proud to nominate The Junction for this award and I hope that it goes on to win and get the recognition it deserves."

Otley Pub Club was also praised Mr Grey, and the pub's, fundraising efforts in a recent newsletter.

It notes that 'in the 13 years that Tony Grey has been the tenant of that fine establishment...they have collected no less than £110,000 for charities."

Mr Grey's fundraising events this year raised money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and St George's Crypt.

He has also been collecting for one of the causes supported by gold medal-winning Paralympian Hannah Cockroft.

The Junction is set to be renamed The Hannah Cockroft this Yorkshire Day, August 1, as part of a town-wide initiative organised by the Pub Club - and Hannah is going to pop in for a visit.

The Parliamentary Pub of the Year winner will be announced later this year.

*Mr Grey's son, Robert, has taken over as the inn's landlord.