The member's bill to improve the position of tied pub tenants is to receive Scottish Government support, despite Holyrood committee report that failed to agree its general principles.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn confirmed that the Scottish Government would support the Tied Pubs Bill at stage 1, improving the prospects for its progress.

Introduced by Labour MSP Neil Bibby, the bill would provide Scottish tied pub tenants with similar protections to those given by 2015 legislation in England & Wales, to prevent them being locked into restrictive and unfair deals. It would require the establishment of a Scottish Pub Code to govern the relationship between pub-owning businesses and their tied tenants, and a Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator to apply the code.

In their stage 1 report last week, a majority on the Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee concluded that they did not support the general principles of the bill, as with only 750 tied pubs in Scotland they saw little evidence to suggest widespread problems warranting primary legislation (click here for news item). 

However Mr Hepburn announced yesterday: "The Scottish Government will be supporting the general principles of this bill and we look forward to working with its sponsor, Neil Bibby MSP, and the Parliament on the next stages."