Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 26th January 2023.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:35 am, 26th January 2023

I thank my hon. Friend for raising this incredibly important issue; I was also at that meeting. There are people who say, “Why should we be regulating businesses?” I can tell them that if a branch of Tesco closed in my constituency, I could point to a Sainsbury’s a few metres away and say, “Don’t worry, there’s another supermarket there.” However, when Portsmouth football club was about to fold, I could not say to my constituents, “Don’t worry, down the road in Southampton is another football club where you might care to go to watch a game.” He is absolutely right: we want to make sure that these important community assets, for that is what they are, are protected. The next DCMS questions is on 9 March, but I shall make sure the Secretary of State has heard his question today.