Campaigners' St George protest ignored by Livingstone

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Related tags: St george, Mayor of london, Greater london authority, Ken livingstone

Trade campaigners staged a protest in London this week calling for Mayor Ken Livingstone to change his mind and support St George's Day. The...

Trade campaigners staged a protest in London this week calling for Mayor Ken Livingstone to change his mind and support St George's Day.

The demonstration was part of a nationwide campaign for more recognition for England's national day, on April 23, including calls for a bank holiday to be introduced and extensions approved to allow pubs to make the most of additional trade.

Terry Archer, licensee of the Lamb and Flag in Covent Garden, joined representatives from Bedford brewer Charles Wells, to campaign outside the Greater London Authority (GLA) buildings.

But Mr Livingstone, who was criticised on the same day by London Assembly members for "failing to listen" to Londoners, refused to face protesters.

Campaigners are angry that he invested £100,000 in a St Patrick's Day parade but refused to show any support for St George's Day. Pubs that have suffered due to the drop in tourism say they need all the help they can get.

Mr Archer said: "I celebrate St George's Day every year without fail. If the Mayor showed some encouragement as well, it would be even busier."

Alan Twigg, spokesman for Bedford brewer Charles Wells, said: "If St George's Day was encouraged here we reckon we could be looking at anything from £25m to even £30m or £40m. With tourism suffering after September 11 this is exactly what pubs need."

Meanwhile, Greene King Pub Company is furious after one of its pubs was refused an extended licence for St George's Day.

Ray Martin, licensee of the Wig & Pen in Colchester, Essex, was turned down by magistrates despite the fact that he was granted an extension for St Patrick's Day, because the court did not recognise St George's Day as a special occasion.

Vote!

We asked: Are you planning to hold St George's Day celebrations in your pub? This is how you voted:
No​139 Votes (56%)
Yes​108 Votes (44%)

Related stories:

London mayor 'no' to calls for St George's Day celebrations (18 April 2002)

St George's Day extensions granted as campaign gains ground (5 April 2002)

Trade calls for St George's Day celebration (28 March 2002)

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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