Greg Mulholland: Scrap the BBPA and replace with new 'credible association'

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

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Greg Mulholland: Has called on BBPA members to review their membership and for it to be replaced by 'a new credible association'
Greg Mulholland: Has called on BBPA members to review their membership and for it to be replaced by 'a new credible association'
Save the Pub Group chair Greg Mulholland MP has tabled a motion in Parliament calling for the British Beer and Pub Association to dissolve and be replaced by a new representative body.

Fresh from his success last month which saw MPs support his market rent only (MRO) option clause for tied tenants in the pubs code and defeat the Government in a Commons vote, Mulholland has stepped up his campaign against the BBPA and chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

Mulholland has accused the BBPA of a “disgraceful campaign of misinformation” by misrepresenting the impact of the so-called Clause 42 in the Small Business Bill.

Following the vote, the BBPA said a MRO option would damage pub investment, lead to 1,400 pubs closing with 7,000 job losses across the trade.

The Early Day Motion​ states:

“That this House condemns the disgraceful campaign of misinformation by the pubcos' trade association, the British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA) who are misrepresenting Clause 42 in the Small Business, Employment and Enterprise Bill and falsely presenting predictions of its effect; notes that BBPA have misrepresented predictions of the discredited London Economics study by claiming that study said it 'would' lead to closures when it says 'may', that they have presented only the top figure of a scale of predictions that are misrepresenting these figures when they do not actually apply to Clause 42 but were based on immediate MRO; further notes this report was exposed as being based on 'confidential data' supplied by pubcos and that the conclusions are invalid in failing to understand the legal position of leases;

"Further notes previous false and misleading statements made by the BBPA in 2013 including by the Chief Executive to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee and claiming on television that the Government's own figures show that there are more pubs that are closing that are free-of-tie than that are closing that are tied, when the reality is that the Government had no pub closure figures, nor do CGA Strategy collect pub closure figures;

"Believes the BBPA is now thoroughly discredited and not trusted in Westminster and Whitehall and as such can no longer fulfil its role as a representative body; and calls on BBPA members to review their membership and for the BBPA to be replaced by a new credible association."

The EDM was tabled on 3 December and is so far supported by 12 MPs.

Update 9 Dec - BBPA response

BBPA chairman Jonathan Neame said: “Greg Mulholland has made these points several times before, but it is very disappointing to see any MP using their access to Parliamentary Early Day Motions in this way. 

“It is entirely right and responsible for the BBPA to set out members’ concerns and the potential unintended consequences that may arise from the implementation of Clause 42, which introduces the ‘market rent only’ option. 

“We will continue to make our case with MPs and Peers, so they can reach a considered and balanced view.”

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