Freedom of information requests provide public access to information held by public bodies like the government, and Mulholland is on a mission to find out if the unexpected clause is the result of behind-the-scenes lobbying.
Pub campaigners have been left reeling by section 8.12, which states that a tenant will gain the right to request MRO following the receipt of a rent proposal-so long as the rent proposed by the pub company is higher than the existing rent.
The Save the Pub Group also said that triggers for MRO added by Fair Deal For Your Local campaigners had been removed, meaning it would be only be available for tenants if dry rent is increased beyond inflation at a rent review.
It also expressed concerns that the market rent could be set by the pub company, instead of by an independent assessor.
Mulholland said: “This is an attempt to make the concept of MRO something which it is not and which is not what the House of Commons voted for. The draft code will need to be substantially changed so the proper definition of MRO is understood and the right to trigger it is based on the trigger points set out in the Small Business Act. There is clearly a lot of work before we get a code that hardworking publicans will welcome.”
The consultation into the draft legislation will run until 14 December.