MP seeks 'coalition' to take on pubcos

By John Harrington john.harrington@william-reed.co.u

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mp greg mulholland, Greg mulholland

Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland wants to form a "coalition" of campaigners to urge the Government to reduce the power of pubcos. Mulholland is to...

Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland wants to form a "coalition" of campaigners to urge the Government to reduce the power of pubcos.

Mulholland is to meet the Freedom for Pubs Association and organise a meeting in Westminster to highlight his concerns to other MPs.

The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group member blames pubcos for the rapid rate of pub closures and said they act against the interests of licensees and consumers.

He said the Beer Orders, which broke up the power of the big brewers, "set up a different kind of restricted market, one that is in some cases less advantageous to the great British pub."

The Leeds North West MP said: "It's time to think seriously about another overhaul to end pubcos' dominance. They seem to operate as little more than property developers. If there's an opportunity to make more money from finding alternative use for pubs - rather than support licensees - they seem to take it.

"I want to lead a call for the Government to look at this area of legislation again.

"We need a coalition of people from the trade, from licensees and consumers."

The MA revealed last week that Mulholland and fellow Lib Dem MP Tim Farron plan to draft an Early Day Motion (EDM) - a petition for MPs - urging a 500-pub limit on pubco estates.

Mulholland backed calls by Farron for a Competition Commission probe into pubcos and added: "It would be up to the Government to acknowledge that [the status quo] is not beneficial to pubs or consumers." His current EDM, with 45 signatures, calls for "unreasonable rents" charged by "some pubcos" to be examined.

Related topics: Legislation

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