The MP who led the investigation into tenanted pub companies has said he’ll recommend no further action by Government if the trade can demonstrate that self-regulation is working, writes Michelle Perrett. Speaking at the Tenanted Pub Company Summit, Business Innovation and Skills Committee (BISC) chairman Adrian Bailey made it clear that the issue would not go away as there is enormous cross-party concern. However, he said: “I have no personal objection if self-regulation is demonstrated to work. If the industry can make it work and if my committee is satisfied that it is working it will not recommend any further action. “But the ball is firmly in the industry’s court to demonstrate to Parliament that they can deliver.” The BISC recommended that there should statutory legislation and an adjudicator to manage the pubco tenant relationship after a robust investigation at the end of last year. However, the Government agreed a deal with the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) for a self-regulation route which included the strengthening of the Industry Framework Code, the formation of PICA-Service to adjudicate non-rental disputes between pubcos and tenants and the formation of a Pubs Advisory Service to help new entrants to the trade. Bailey warned: “Whilst the industry has been given time to sort itself out Parliament is watching and will not hesitate to take this issue up again. “The committee has not held four inquiries and sat for days with witnesses making recommendations and responding to the Government over the years for nothing. We want to see the problems within the industry solved.” He said that if the Grocery Adjudicators Bill, which is passing though Parliament is proved to be successful then this could provide a potential model which could be used as a solution for the pub trade. He also admitted that the Parliamentary debate which took place in January, which received unanimous support for statutory regulation from MPs, has been rejected by the Government. However, this could give the Government a “bloody nose” he predicted. “The Government’s high-handed approach has actually reinforced some of the strong options in Parliament about the way in which the govt has dealt with this. “By rejecting an overwhelming vote on the floor of the house in such a cavalier manner the government has actually reinforced that element in the House across all parties that sees issues between Parliament and the executive.” He indicated that the strength of feeling is so strong among MPs that the whole pubco debate could become an General Election issue. BISC will be interviewing business minister Norman Lamb in the future to question the progress of the deal.