A South Yorkshire multiple operator is “stepping back” from the trade because he says he’s had enough of the Government and councils blaming alcohol-related disorder on pubs and clubs.

Ryan Morling, who owns Rhino Pubs, which operates eight venues in and around Doncaster, said he is renting out the properties and is looking into selling the sites due to the increase in red tape targeting the licensing trade.

He said pubs are a “soft target” for local councils and it is “really frustrating” that supermarkets and off licences, which sell more alcohol than pubs and clubs and pay roughly the same amount of tax, are not targeted to help deal with alcohol-related disorder.

“I can’t be doing with being blamed for something we’re not the biggest contributor to and, if local councils and the Government can’t man up and take on the problem, it’s not for me I’m afraid,” he said.

“Pubs in town centres wish they had all the money for causing that problem but the fact is people come into pubs at 11pm absolutely hammered on pre-loaded cheap booze and drugs, get arrested for being drunk and disorderly, the town centre becomes a warzone, and then we get some big wigs introducing flawed policies that target pubs.

“They’re not touching the biggest contributor. Supermarkets and shops are the market leader and have a massive responsibility. They have to pay their fair share to combat this problem. They are not promoting the licensing objectives,” he continued.

Morling is campaigning against the possible introduction of a late-night levy in York, which he says is “totally unjustified”. He urged for the pub trade to join him and unite against red tape, saying that town centre pubs can “no longer be solely blamed” for anti-social behaviour.

“York is a civilised night out but because the government has let a back door option for the council to tax, all the heat is taken away from the Government and it can’t be fought on a national level.

“Late light levy proposals are spreading like cancer throughout the UK. But York pubs and door men already do an excellent job. This is just a money grab and I urge every pub and club in York to unite against it. The fight back must start here.”