Labour leadership hopeful David Miliband hopes to give tenants the choice to opt out of the beer tie and reinstate a pubs minister under a new campaign to save the British pub.
Miliband's 'three-point plan' also includes aims to strengthen planning laws to protect pubs.
The move shows pubs remain high on the agenda for politicians, with Miliband's interest potentially proving significant as he's widely seen as the front-runner in the leadership race.
Tackling the beer-tie problem
A statement from his office says the tie is 'one of the biggest problems facing pubs', which sees many tenants pay 'over the odds'.
"Tackling this anti-competitive practice would help ensure a fair price for drinkers and help community pubs stay open.
"This could be achieved by a statutory code of practice that gives tied tenants this option when leases are granted, reviewed or renewed (strengthening the British Beer and Pub Association industry code of practice).
"The code should also ensure transparency about the discount pubcos receive from brewers and the proportion they pass on to tenants."
Milliband said public consultations should be required if pubcos want to change the use of a pub or demolish the building, and there should be a 'viability test'.
In his call for a new pubs minister, the former foreign secretary said the current Government divides responsibility for pubs between three departments, 'making co-ordinated action more difficult'.
The statement said pubs inject an average of £80k per year into local economies. Last year 24,000 jobs were lost in the sector and January's VAT rise will 'hit pubs and drinkers'.
Bad news for drinkers and pubs
Miliband said: “Last orders are being called for good at around 40 pubs a week as they come under pressure from supermarkets selling cheaper beer.
"This is not just bad news for those who enjoy a pint at their local — in many villages and towns across Britain pubs are the life and soul of the community.
“As we enter the holiday season its important we stand up for British tourism and the importance of pubs to our tourist industry.
"For too long we have tolerated this decline as the result of inevitable market forces. But we can and should stand up for the local pub – and the community links and civic life they sustain.
"Local pubs are great British institutions — and as Labour leader I would stand up for them.”