Labour 'will go further' on pubco intervention, predicts BISC chair

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Labour party, Public house

Adrian Bailey MP: 'I would expect our front bench to make such a commitment for the next general election'
Adrian Bailey MP: 'I would expect our front bench to make such a commitment for the next general election'
The Labour party will commit to introducing a mandatory free-of-tie and market-rent-only options for pub tenants if they are not included in this week’s statutory code announcement, the chairman of the Business, Innovations & Skills Committee (BISC) has predicted.

In an exclusive interview with the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​, Adrian Bailey MP said he would be “very disappointed” if a market-rent-only option is not included in the legislation for tenanted pub companies, which is expected to be announced in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday (4 June).

However, he said the Labour party would be likely to include the promise in their manifesto for the general election next May.

'Missing out'

“Given the emphasis that’s been put on this issue in four select committee reports, for the Government to introduce legislation which fails to implement that, it would be missing out a vital part in the reorganisation of the industry that needs to be made,” he said.

“The Labour party has committed itself to introducing a free-of-tie and market-rent-only option. I would expect our front bench to make such a commitment for the next general election.”

The Labour party has previously been vocal about its support for a free-of-tie option, open market rent reviews and an independent pubs adjudicator.

Fair Pint campaigner Simon Clarke said if a statutory code is introduced without a market-rent-only option it won’t “solve anything”.

“Without the MRO I can’t see how they propose delivering on the fairness and tied tenants being not worse off, which was their commitment,” he said.

'Inflexible'

However, British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said while she would welcome certainty after such a long period of debate, legislation “doesn’t allow for the subtleties that the current flexibility of a code provides”.

“We would be disappointed if the Government seeks to introduce potentially costly legislation and  potentially disproportionate costs of a statutory adjudicator, rather than supporting the existing, and evolving, system of self-regulation,” she said.

Tenanted Pub Company Summit

Adrian Bailey is the keynote speaker at the Tenanted Pub Company Summit, organised by the PMA and M&C Report, which takes place next Thursday (12 June) at the Landmark in Marylebone, London. The implications of the upcoming statutory code will be examined in detail at the event, which includes senior speakers from major pubcos including Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns, Star Pubs & Bars, Spirit Leased and Shepherd Neame. For more information on the conference, visit www.tenantedpubcompanysummit.co.uk​.

Related topics: Legislation

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