HC Deb 22 March 2001 vol 365 c566 5.41 pm
Mr. Mike Hancock (Portsmouth, South)

I wish to present a petition on behalf of Carol and Mick Frewing, the tenants of the Connaught Arms in Fratton, Portsmouth, and of more than 1,000 local people who want a fair deal for local pubs and landlords. The petition states: To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. The Humble Petition of Carol and Mick Frewing, tenants of the Connaught Arms, Fratton, Portsmouth. That Whitbread Plc has decided to sell all its 3,000 pubs to a sole bidder, thereby denying its 1,700 pub licensees the right to buy the Freehold of their premises. The Petitioners believe that this action may seriously jeopardise one's choice and the future of small pubs everywhere, especially in Portsmouth. The Petitioners pray that your honourable House support the signatories of Early-Day Motion 177 in deploring this decision by Whitbread Plc. The Petitioners further pray that the House note that Many Licensees have invested considerable sums in their pubs and have in the process contributed substantially to Whitbread's profit; recognise also that these licensees now feel betrayed by the company's actions and ask the Honourable House to support their right to buy campaign. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray

To lie upon the Table