Statutory Code: Pubco critic MP to oversee decision

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Statutory code, Democracy

Jenny Willott MP: 'Self regulation has clearly not worked so far, with many pubs being exploited and squeezed'
Jenny Willott MP: 'Self regulation has clearly not worked so far, with many pubs being exploited and squeezed'
The new Government minister charged with overseeing proposals for a statutory code in the pubco/tenant relationship is an outspoken critic of pub companies.

Jenny Willott MP will replace fellow Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson as a business minister on Friday (20 December) when Swinson goes on maternity leave.

It means Willott, who represents Cardiff Central, will be responsible for deciding whether and how to introduce a statutory code for pubcos. Swinson had said the Government would respond to the recent consultation on the proposals in the New Year.

Willott has previously said she supports the Fair Deal for Your Local campaign, which backs a statutory code to force measures such as guest beer option.

'Self-regulation has clearly not worked'

In a statement issued in June, when the Government released its statutory code consultation, Willott said: “I fully support the Government’s proposals to introduce a statutory code for pub companies and an independent adjudicator to enforce this code.

“Self regulation has clearly not worked so far, with many pubs being exploited and squeezed to the point where they are no longer financially viable. Too many pubs have closed in recent years, often ripping out the heart of local communities.

“I hope these proposals, which Liberal Democrats in Government are championing, will help rebalance the relationship between the big pub companies and their tenants, allowing local pubs to remain central parts of their communities.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said: "Jenny Willott starts in her role when Jo Swinson goes on maternity leave on 20th December. Her portfolio will include pubs reform.

"Ms Willott responded to this consultation as a constituency MP and prior to taking on this Ministerial role. As Minister she will base her decisions on all the available evidence and the range of stakeholder views."

Related topics: Legislation

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