Business minister Norman Lamb has confirmed that the Government will not be establishing an independent review panel to scrutinise measures to improve the pubco/tenant relationship, writes Adam Pescod. In January MPs approved a motion calling for the voluntary agreement, brokered between the British Beer & Pub Association and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), to be reviewed by an independent panel. The motion was from Adrian Bailey MP, chairman of the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee (BISC), which has been highly critical of the Government’s decision not to implement statutory regulation. In response to a question in Parliament today, Lamb said: “On 24 November the Government announced a new tough and legally binding form of self-regulation for the pub industry, including a strengthened Industry Framework Code and the establishment of a Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICAS). “As the Code will now be legally binding, it will ultimately be enforceable through the courts. “The best way to deliver change quickly is for the industry to focus on implementing these reforms. It would not be appropriate, at this stage, to commission an independent review.” Lamb hinted last week that he would ignore the calls of MPs to set up the panel, which was voted for by a majority of MPs in the Commons earlier this year. In a letter being issued today, Perkins asked Norman Lamb to explain his decision not to establish the panel. Perkins said: “It will add weight to the view that this Government is in the pocket of large vested interests in the pub industry. “It will also come as a shock to all those people who believed that ministers would respect the will of Parliament. The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee has done exhaustive work demonstrating what the pub industry needs and given the result of last month’s vote, it demonstrates appalling arrogance for the Government to then ignore the outcome and stick to ‘business as usual. “Ministers are clearly not serious about taking the steps needed to support our publicans.”