Ipswich: Town MP demands answers over controversial closure of Emperor Inn

Protestors outside the Emperor Inn

Protestors outside the Emperor Inn - Credit: Archant

AN MP is today demanding answers from the owners of the Emperor Inn after the pub shut its doors much earlier than expected.

Regulars have raised concerns about the decision by Punch Taverns to close this month – which comes after the pub was granted Community Asset status.

The Norwich Road facility, which is due to become a small Tesco store, is used by many people in the area and is often used as a meeting place.

And now, Ipswich MP, Ben Gummer, has written to Punch’s executive chairman, Stephen Billingham, asking why the decision has been taken.

Mr Gummer said: “I have been in contact with the regulars since this whole question came up and it is really not satisfactory.

“I don’t understand why the pub is being closed before work starts – it doesn’t make sense.”

Regular users of the pub have staged a number of protests and fundraising events since it emerged Tesco were interested in the site.

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Mr Gummer has pledged to help the group.

He added: “We are up against some pretty titanic companies so I am not sure there is a huge amount I can do but I will do my best and we will see what happens.”

A spokesman for Punch Taverns said: “We do appreciate the concerns of local residents and we have been in close correspondence with the mp and the local community, responding directly to each letter individually.”

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