The recent furore surrounding Dawson News has prompted trade associations the National Federation of Retail Newsagents and the Association of News Retailing to bring the plight of their members to the attention of Parliament.

Seventy four MPs signed a pledge to support Britain's struggling newsagents when the NFRN visited Westminster at the end of June.

And 92 MPs from all parties have signed an Early Day Motion put forward by Lib Dem Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Simon Hughes calling for the OFT to investigate "recent developments in the distribution market and take action to safeguard competition for the benefit of consumers, independent newsagents and distribution employees alike".

"We are simply asking to be given the same right to choose between competing suppliers that has underpinned British business for decades," says Suleman Khonat, the national president of the NFRN.

Kerry McCarthy, the Labour MP for Bristol East, and Mark Field, Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, have both tabled questions to Lord Mandelson, on the issue.

"I fear the curtailment of freedom of choice if our independent newsagents are lost," says Field. "While I do the majority of my shopping at my local supermarket, I always make a point of buying my paper from my newsagent as I want to support diversity in our press."

John Thurso, Lib Dem Shadow Business Secretary, and another who signed the EDM, adds: "Local newsagents are a vital part of community life. Given the changed circumstances it is vital the OFT re-examines this market as a matter of urgency."

The NFRN is continuing to fight its corner.

This week it suspended its involvement in the Joint Industry Group, the body formed to oversee newstrade reform, while it awaits the OFT's decision.