MP John Healey has backed plans for a crackdown on pub companies by the government.

Mr Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne, has also written to business secretary Vince Cable urging him to stop delaying and take immediate action against high rents and product prices.

“Major reform is needed," he wrote. "As many as 16 pubs close every week, and there is widespread acceptance that the industry is too skewed towards the big companies and away from pub goers and lessees.”

Mr Healey has signed an early-day motion welcoming the launch of a consultation to develop a ‘long overdue’ code of practice.

The code will cover pub companies charging high rents, and the beer tie under which landlords are forced to pay high prices for beer.