Laws forcing pubco reform may not see the light of day until April 2014, according to CGA chief executive Jon Collins, writes Gemma McKenna. He highlighted the self-reform taking place among pubcos, including Punch and Marston’s, and said: “The market is moving significantly ahead of our political paymasters.” He was speaking to multiple operators at the recent MA200 seminar held by the Morning Advertiser. A Tory spokesman has already said the party “would consult on putting a pubco code of practice on a statutory basis”. Collins, former lobbyist and researcher for the Labour Party, reasoned that should the Conservative Party come to power, the time lag to implement pubco reform would be four years. Collins reckoned the reform wouldn’t make it into the Queen’s speech — which outlines the bills that will be tackled in the next Parliamentary session — until November 2011. He guessed that the Bill would then be passed in 2012 and become law in the summer of 2013. “But this would then require secondary legislation, which would mean any Act would not take effect until April 2014,” said Collins. A similar timescale is likely to apply if Labour win on 6 May. The party has committed to force a mandatory code on pubcos if changes aren’t made voluntarily by June 2011. Collins said the tie debate had been caught up in “election rhetoric”, adding, “if your issue is live three months before a general election, it will spiral into another world”. Collins also warned that alcohol was increasingly being treated as the next tobacco among politicians. “There will be a difficult few years ahead,” he warned.