SUPERMARKET giant Tesco was today slated as a "manipulative monopoly" that was blighting towns and cities across the country.
Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman demanded new laws to limit the retailer’s dominance over the multi-billion grocery market.
He angrily attacked the decision yesterday by the Competition Appeal Tribunal which handed Tesco a victory in its battle against plans to introduce a "competition test" to curb the power of the supermarkets.
The test was unveiled by the Competition Commission last year as part of a planning shake-up designed to boost competition in the multi-billion pound grocery market.
But the tribunal agreed with Tesco that the commission did not fully take account of the fact that the test, relating to planning decisions for larger stores, might have "adverse effects for consumers", among other matters.
During exchanges on future Commons business, Mr Sheerman asked Leader of the House Harriet Harman: "Would you join with me in deploring the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision over Tesco ...
"Many of our towns and cities are being totally blighted by this manipulative monopoly.
"Isn’t it about time we debated Tesco in this House and introduced legislation to cut its monopoly?"
Ms Harman said she would draw the points raised to ministers’ attention and suggested it could be a subject for a short Commons debate.
Tesco welcomed the decision as a "victory for common sense" but it was met with dismay from the Association of Convenience Stores, which represents 33,000 local shops.