The independent convenience industry joined forces on February 29 in an effort to fight the Government’s plan to relax Sunday trading laws.

The lobby of Parliament was organised by campaign group Keep Sunday Special, who called on MPs to take heed of the damage they say will be caused to the UK economy and society if changes to Sunday trading legislation are introduced.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We know that what actually happens when Sunday trading rules are removed is that small stores lose out when trade is diverted to larger supermarkets and, ultimately, there will be a net loss of jobs.”

He encouraged retailers to continue lobbying their local MPs to vote against the proposals being put forward in the Enterprise Bill next week.

Paul Baxter, NFRN chief executive, said that devolving Sunday trading powers to local authorities “poses a threat to independent retailers at a time when there is no great desire from the public to do so.”

He said that 90% of shop workers oppose extending current trading hours.

Retailers took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the campaign. “It’s time to say no to the deregulation of Sunday trading”, said Spar retailer, Paul Stone, who joined campaigners in Westminster.

High Wycombe based Premier retailer Raaj Chandarana tweeted from Westminster: “Insight from @ForeCourtJJ (retailer Jonathan James) shows Sunday retailing was down 40% when Sunday Trading rules were relaxed during the Olympics.”