A call for a review into the newspaper supply chain has been made during a debate in Parliament.

Priti Patel MP, who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group Chair, and is the daughter of a shopkeeper, initiated the debate.

She raised the concerns of independent newsagents who are affected by shrinking margins, high carriage charges, poor service and a lack of competition which effectively creates a monopoly for the wholesalers that serve them.

Speaking after the debate, she said: “Independent newsagents are the lifeblood of local communities up and down the country. They provide jobs and a friendly service for their customers. But the lack of competition in the wholesale market is damaging these businesses.

“Over the years hardworking newsagents have had unfair terms and conditions imposed on them, been subjected to increases in carriage charges and seen their margins reduce. I was pleased that the Minister responding listened to what was being said and is monitoring the situation. I would urge all newsagents to get in touch with their own MPs to let them know of the poor service they receive and the damage caused by the absence of competition among wholesalers.”

National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) chief executive Paul Baxter commented: “The NFRN is delighted that Ms Patel has called for a review into the newspaper supply chain. This is a difficult time for independent newsagents and we thank Priti for raising awareness of the challenges our members are facing.”