PRIME Minister Boris Johnson dropped in for a gin when he visited the region sparking a media row for Masons distillery.

The PM along with Richmond MP and Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel, visited Masons in Bedale for a tasting and to see their new still Anthea named.

But there were criticisms on social media and threats to boycott the brand with one protestor complaining it was a "stupid political publicity stunt."

Karl and Cathy Mason who started the distillery seven years ago and built their new site at |Leeming Bar after a major fire at their previous headquarters in Aiskew defended hosting the visitors.

They said: "We’re sorry that not everyone saw their visit as a positive, but we can assure you that we would have welcomed a visit from three of the UK’s most important government positions, whatever their political party affiliations.

"At this time more than ever, it was a chance for us to celebrate our success in building a premium gin business over the last seven years in the heart of North Yorkshire, against the backdrop of what is probably the most challenging time economically and socially for us all.

"Cheers from all of us at Masons. Whoever you vote for, everyone is welcome."

They said the Prime Minister's visit which included a gin tasting and a chance to help on the bottling line was organised by local MP Mr Sunak .