MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough calls for 'level playing field' between digital and High Street retailers

The MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones, has called for vigilance over business rates between digital and High Street retailers.

The MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones,

Following the announcement by supermarket giant Mark and Spencers that it will close 14 branches across the country, an urgent question was put forward in Parliament to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Claire Perry, earlier this week by the SNP.

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While the district's branches are not among those set to close Mr Jones supported the debate that followed, and echoed the MInister and SNP Spokesperson for Mental Health, Lisa Cameron's points on how important 'big anchor tenants' are to the health of a High Street.

Mr Jones said: "Speaking as a former Marks & Spencer supplier and current Marks & Spencer customer, Dr Cameron highlighted the importance of an anchor store to a town’s retail offer and the social importance of the high street. I entirely agreed with her question.

"Will my right hon. Friend remain vigilant on, or at least sensitive to, the impact of business rates for physical retailers as compared to internet retailers? Will she monitor that carefully, because we want to ensure a level playing field for the social benefit we have been talking about?"