The British Beer and Pub Association has hit back after campaign group Fair Pint went public with criticism of a new code to govern the relationship between pub companies and their licensees.

Fair Pint, which has campaigned for reform of the so-called 'pub tie' between companies and tenants, today (11 November) published an industry agreement designed to lay down new rules on the tie.

It did so without the consent of signature parties, the British Beer & Pub Association, the Federation of Licenses Victuallers Associations and the British Institute of Inkeeping.

Fair Pint published criticism of the agreement alongside its main clauses, intended to ramp up pressure on the industry to make more reforms to the tie, which it believes will continue to be unacceptable even with the new agreement.

It is anticipated that the agreement will be turned into a comprehensive code of conduct for the trade by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The BBPA said today: "We are as keen as anyone else to have this far more detailed document out in the public domain. 

"It will certainly be ready in time for presentation to and scrutiny by the public forum of the BIS Select Committee [parliamentary committee of MPs]. 

"The Code is a direct response to the shortcomings in our sector highlighted by the Committee, which we have acknowledged and addressed."

Last month, the OFT reported that its 90-day probe on the pub tie found no evidence that it was harmful to consumers.

For just-drinks analysis of the OFT's pub tie ruling, click here.