DEVIZES MP Claire Perry dropped into The White Horse at Winterbourne Bassett near Marlborough to get a glimpse of life behind the bar.

Publican Kurt Turner and his partner licensee Samantha Creech welcomed Mrs Perry to the Wadworth pub, which stocks a variety of cask ales and is famous for serving pork reared by the publican himself.

The MP was visiting the pub as part of an initiative by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, which is encouraging MPs to work as bartenders for a shift to promote understanding of the issues faced by the trade.

Wadworth marketing and sales director Paul Sullivan said: “It’s always good to see MPs supporting our industry and experiencing the challenges faced by the trade at grass roots level, from duty to employment.

“With more measured support from Government, we feel sure this industry can thrive once again and bolster the economy.”

Among the measures being put forward is a new code of practice for pub companies.

Under the new code, landlords of tied pubs will be able to stock beers other than those insisted upon by the pub companies and challenge the prices they are being charged.

Licensees in dispute with the owners of the pubs will be able to apply to an adjudicator who can apply sanctions and fines.

Wadworths said the code does not apply to its business as it only covered companies with 500 pubs or more. The company has its own code of practice, which is to be updated this year.

Eleanor Preston-Gill, who ran the Rose & Crown pub in Worton, an Enterprise Inns pub, with her partner John Leiper, said she hoped the new code would address the problems she claimed they had, which led them to leave in 2005.

She said: “The pub companies have a stranglehold on the industry. I hope the new code will get rid of this kind of behaviour, which is killing the trade.”