The former landlord of an historic Bingley pub which suddenly closed claims he has been forced to to pay “unsustainable” prices on alcohol and rent by its owners.

Kevin Roberts, who ran the Old White Horse Inn, which dates back to the 14th century, is in a legal battle with pub company Enterprise Inns after he finally closed its doors following seven years behind the bar.

Mr Roberts told the Telegraph & Argus that rising rents, which are paid through the pub company, and the high cost of booze – bought through Enterprise – meant the business was no longer viable.

He said: “Enterprise has imposed unsustainable rents and unsustainable prices and have not helped me whatsoever.

“I love the pub and I love the customers but I just could not afford to carry on.”

He added: “It is not just me; there are thousands of us in the same boat.”

A spokesman for Enterprise confirmed the pub had shut and the company was looking for a new landlord.

Conservative MP Philip Davies, whose Shipley constituency includes the Bingley pub, said: “Most people would imagine that, if you are tied to a particular company or brewery, you would get an advantage. What really happens is that you are put at a massive disadvantage, by being asked to pay far more for beer than a free pub would from exactly the same brewery.”

Mr Davies has previously demanded an investigation into pub companies by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) but his request was refused.

He said: “They said there was nothing in the tied pub system which was not conducive to fair trade and didn’t accept the complaint.

“Personally, I was very disappointed because pubs have struggled ever since the smoking ban and the last thing they need is being further decimated by their own side.”

Vicky Averis, a spokesman for Enterprise Inns, said: “This is purely a temporary closure and not permanent. We are looking for a new publican and it is our intention to re-open as soon as possible.”

An inn has stood on the site of the Old White Horse since it was founded by the Knights Templar, an organisation dating back to the Crusades in the middle ages.

The link to the famous old order is depicted by the corner stone lanterns on the gables, which are a symbol of ownership of the Order of Knights of St John of Jerusalem.

The founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, is also believed to have preached from the steps still visible in front of the building.