MPs have added their voices to the call for government to stop dragging its feet over the creation of a supermarket ombudsman.

Efforts to introduce an ombudsman have stalled in recent months, after opposition from the major multiples.

Five MPs have proposed an Early Day Motion (EDM) which raises the importance of establishing a supermarket watchdog, as recommended by the Competition Commission's investigation into the grocery market in 2008.

The Association of Convenience Stores welcomed the EDM, and called on more MPs to support it.

Andrew George, MP for West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, said: 'Supermarkets have told us that they put their customers' interests first. If they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear and everything to gain."

However, some small stores questioned the benefits of an adjudicator. David Smith of Smiths Corner Stores in Grimoldby, Louth, said: "It would be false to assume that appointing an ombudsman would solve anything."