Small business commissioner Paul Uppal has pledged to lobby central government on payment issues with news wholesalers, but has urged independent retailers to provide evidence of them.

Mr Uppal, who was Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West between 2010 and 2015, told RN: “We have spoken with the NFRN around issues of late payments, contractual changes and the practice of charging retailers when deliveries haven’t arrived.

“We will lobby these issues with central government and keep the pressure on wholesalers. We have no powers to issue fines, but we can name and shame, and we will need the ammunition from retailers to fire the bullets.”

The office of the Small Business Commissioner was established in October to help tackle payment disputes between small businesses and their suppliers. Mr Uppal added the organisation would help retailers with payment issues across the industry, and not just newspaper wholesalers.

  • Want to put evidence forward? Call RN on 020 7689 3358