Toby Perkins MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Small Business, said today that the Government is betraying British pubs by refusing to launch a review into how landlords are being squeezed out of business.
Parliament voted unanimously last month to launch a review of the self-regulatory regime of pub companies and look at bringing in guidelines to protect tenant landlords
But, in answer to a Parliamentary Question from Mr Perkins, Norman Lamb MP, the Minister responsible for pubs regulation revealed he would be ignoring the vote.
Mr Lamb said: “It would not be appropriate, at this stage, to commission an independent review.”
In the debate last month, MPs from all sides of the House of Commons criticised the imbalance in the relationship between pub companies and the tenants which has led to a large number of pubs closing.
Labour is backing the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s call for the Government to introduce a statutory code to protect pub tenants and take steps to ensure that a non-tied option is offered by pub companies to tenants.
In a letter being issued today, Toby Perkins MP will ask Norman Lamb to explain why he is turning his back on Britain’s publicans when they need his help most.
Toby Perkins said:
“The news that the Government has reneged on the promise of an independent review will come as a huge disappointment to the very broad coalition of organisations who know that self regulation of Pub Companies isn’t working. It will add weight to the view that this Government is in the pocket of large vested interests in the pub industry.
“It will also come as a shock to all those people who believed that Ministers would respect the will of Parliament. The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee has done exhaustive work demonstrating what the pub industry needs and given the result of last month’s vote, it demonstrates appalling arrogance for the Government to then ignore the outcome and stick to ‘business as usual’.
“Ministers are clearly not serious about taking the steps needed to support our publicans and I fear they will continue to sit idly by as more pubs go to the wall, more young people are put out of work and more communities are left without a vital local resource.”