Pubs Code

Business minister Soubry rules out retrospective pubs code

By Mike Berry contact

- Last updated on GMT

Small business minister Anna Soubry
Small business minister Anna Soubry

Related tags: British pub confederation, Westminster system

Small business minister Anna Soubry has ruled out making the new pubs code retrospective in a decision likely to infuriate tenant campaigners.

The British Pub Confederation has been pressing the minister to provide an implementation date for the code, which includes the Market Rent Only (MRO) option, since it failed to come into force on the original 26 May implementation date.

The British Pub Confederation estimates for every month the code is delayed, 220 tenants miss out on their chance for MRO, and has called for the code to be applied retrospectively.

In an exclusive interview with the PMA​, Soubry apologised for the “frustrating” delays to the code.

“I think there has been a certain amount of disappointment from people about how the pubs code has not gone through Parliament in the way we wanted to hit the implementation date. I absolutely want to get it in place before the end of this parliamentary session [21 July].

“I can’t tell you how hard people have worked to make the changes we needed for the code to be effective. It’s absolutely critical that we got that right and it was right for us to pull back and delay.

"I’m really sorry that it wasn’t done when it was supposed to – but we had no alternative.”

However she dismissed calls for retrospective action: “You can’t do that,” she said.

Soubry also revealed she had been the subject of social media abuse during the process of guiding the code through Parliament and since her controversial decision to appoint ex-Fleurets director Paul Newby​ as Pubs Code Adjudicator.

Read the full interview in 11 July issue.

Related topics: Legislation

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