Pub companies with fewer than 500 tied pubs will be exempt from the statutory code, Andrew Griffiths MP has told M&C Report.

The amendment was tabled by Sheryll Murray MP at a committee meeting on Tuesday and was successful after 11 out of 18 members of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill Committee voted in favour of the fundamental change today, M&C Report understands.

It means that, as the pub company estates currently stand, Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns, Marston’s, Star Pubs & Bars, Greene King and Admiral Taverns are the only ones that will have to abide by the code.

The Government had proposed a core code to protect all tied tenants and an enhanced code to protect those under pub companies with 500 or more tied pubs.

British Beer & Pub Association public affairs director David Wilson told the PMA he thought the Government would seek to reinsert smaller pub companies into the code either at the report stage in the House of Commons or in the House of Lords.

“I can’t imagine the Government will let it rest,” he said.

Griffiths told the PMA earlier in the week that the amendment could only be successful if it received support from Labour.

Griffiths also tabled an amendment to exempt all tenancies at will, but this was not put to a vote after Business, Innovation & Skills department minister Jo Swinson promised to look again at this matter.

Toby Perkins MP tabled an amendment to regulate all pub owning companies with 500 pubs of any type, which would have included companies such as JD Wetherspoon and Mitchells & Butlers, but this was defeated.

Griffiths said he was surprised that Labour did not table an amendment to exempt free-of-tie pubs.

“Everyone was expecting Labour to make that amendment given their previous stance so that is really surprising. I don’t know why they changed their mind,” he said.

He added that a “probing amendment” was tabled regarding removing the clause that includes the principle that tied tenants should not be worse off as a result of any product or service tie.

However, he said this was only used as a method to try and “get more clarity and information from the Government” on the principle, and was not put to a vote.

Last week the Government corrected its impact assessment on the pubs code to outline that the maximum cost of compliance per pub will be £280, not £210 as originally stated.