Southport Lib Dem MP John Pugh has expressed his delight at yesterday’s announcement of the introduction of a statutory code of practice which will protect publicans from unfair treatment by large pub companies.

The announcement from Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable MP, comes following a review of the self-regulatory solution that the Government brought forward in November 2011. The review found that self- regulation was NOT as far-reaching as the government would have liked and did NOT appear to have created the culture change that was needed. John Pugh MP is a founder member of the All Party Save the Pub Group and has been campaigning hard on this issue for a number of years.

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John has been calling for pub companies to be brought to book if they treat hard working publicans in an unfair way. Recent research by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) shows that two pubs are closing every day. A number of pubs in Southport have closed due to pub tenants being pushed into dire financial circumstances by their pub company. The new statutory code will prevent pub companies abusing their position and charging their tenants inflated prices for drinks and gaming machines.

John  Pugh MP said:

“Despite the many other distractions of modern society, for a sizeable number of people the local pub continues to be an important part of their social life. Many landlords have struggled in the last few years because of high duty, red tape and difficulties created by some of the big breweries. This announcement is incredibly welcome and good news for  publicans and patrons of pubs alike.

“I am delighted that Vince Cable has now decided that a statutory code of practice is needed. This will, at last, enshrine in law the principle that the tied licensee is not worse off than the free house licensee. This is great news for pubs, pubco publicans and customers. It is huge boost in terms of the Coalition Government delivering its promise to be a pro-pub Government.”

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