It comes after the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, Greg Mulholland MP, revealed that the pubco had written some letters on behalf of its tenants to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
Mulholland said that instead of spontaneous submissions, “Punch had circulated a template letter to all of its landlords and asked them if they would send a copy to their local MPs and to the department”.
He added: “This exposes the reality of the ‘hundreds’ of letters sent to the BIS consultation by Punch licensees supposedly ‘written to the Government in our support’. We now know that Punch wrote them and asked them to send them in including sending a copy to their local MP."
A Punch spokesman said: “We make no apologies for encouraging and helping partners who wanted to write to Government in support of us. We will only get a fair outcome to the consultation if all points of view are reflected in the process and indeed BIS have been keen to promote just that.
“Many of those who wrote understand the benefits of the tie and their positive relationship with Punch. They also understand the adverse impact the proposed state-backed pubs quango would have on them and their livelihoods”
Speaking at the Tenanted Pub Company Summit last month, Punch’s external affairs and central operations director Andy Slee said hundreds of its licensees have written to the Government in support of the company for the consultation.