Enterprise Inns chief executive Ted Tuppen has branded the recent Business, Innovation & Skills Committee (BISC) inquiry into pubco-tenant relationships as a “political pantomime”. Speaking at Business in Sport and Leisure’s (BISL) annual conference in London yesterday, Tuppen said he was “still a bit peeved” that the pub companies were not allowed a “basic right of reply” to accusations made against them in evidence by their tenants. The committee recommended a statutory code of practice for the pub industry in September, claiming that the “deep-seated” problems between pubcos and their tenants had not been sufficiently addressed. Business Secretary Vince Cable announced earlier this week that the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will issue its response to the committee’s report later this month. Tuppen said: “A powerful and confident government should instill proper analytical discipline rather than political pantomime that we sometimes have to endure in select committees. “This is a sore subject for me having had to endure four BIS select committee reviews since 2004. The first was ok but I was a bit shocked at the level of grandstanding of some MPs and I am not sure I will ever forgive my friend Nigel Evans, who is now Deputy Speaker, for his quote of the day: ‘It seems to me, Mr Tuppen, you have got your tenants over a barrel’. “But I believe the last two reviews in 2009 and earlier this year were an affront to our democratic process. Short of time for a proper review, the select committee spouted the opinion of a handful of campaigners without bothering to check the facts. “The committee appeared unwilling to consider any genuine evidence which cast doubt upon their prejudice and indeed largely ignored the extensive research that had been carried out by the Office of Fair Trading. “Using Parliamentary Privilege to exaggerate, insult and mislead is not what a select committee should do, particularly when accusations are made without the support of proper evidence, and without the basic right of reply which is enshrined in the realms of British law. “As you can tell I am a bit peeved, still, about that and you have all seen select committees, many of which are very good, many of which do the job that they have to do extremely well, and hold various people to account, but you have also seen those occasions when it goes from proper debate and analysis into pantomime, and we really, really don’t need that.”