The Liberal Democrats have vowed to “stand firm” against the power of the supermarkets at their annual party conference.

Consumer affairs minister Ed Davey said the new Grocery Code Adjudicator would take a firm line against major retailers on his watch.

“It doesn't matter how big and powerful you are, we will stand firm,” Davey said. “That is why we are creating a permanent supermarket adjudicator. Its job will be to enforce a tough new code of practice and stamp out bad behaviour.”

The tough talking was welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores.

“The need to stand firm against supermarkets and developers is more crucial than ever now, with fundamental changes to planning policy underway,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman.

“Ed Davey has a crucial role to play to ensure that planning policy works for communities, not just supermarkets.”

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