Parminder Singh has vowed to silence his critics by "protecting and preserving the newstrade sector for future generations".

The president of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents has come under fire from members since his appointment in June. His tenure has been dogged by claims he has kept too low a profile and that the NFRN has drifted from its core news and magazines interests.

But Singh told The Grocer he would feed off that negative energy to work for the good of the sector throughout his one-year term as president.

"I am a man of co-operation not confrontation," he said. "The NFRN is never short of criticism but it is sad people have chosen to go public on internal issues. We are all passionate about the organisation and it would be much better if we used this energy to work with each other rather than against each other.

"I want to spend my time fighting for its members. I live and breathe them 24 hours a day."

Singh pledged to focus on such issues as inserts, carriage charges, the tobacco display ban and retail crime. "Newspapers and magazines are our top priority but there are many key issues we need to address", he said. "Three members have lost their lives to crime and we must work with government and the police to tackle this."

He called on the government not to introduce the tobacco display ban without proper evidence.

Singh will shortly meet publishers and wholesalers to discuss the newstrade and the NFRN is to launch an initiative called Steps to Success to help struggling retailers later this year.