JDW denies being party poopers'

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Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has defended a decision by one of its managers, who threatened to bar a group of girls when they started to sing "happy...

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has defended a decision by one of its managers, who threatened to bar a group of girls when they started to sing "happy birthday" to one of their friends. Wetherspoon said the incident was more than just high spirits and the action was taken because the group was annoying other customers. The incident is one of several that have taken place at the Liquorice Gardens in Worksop, Nottingham, which has also seen a rugby team barred for singing an anthem in recent weeks. The girls claimed they were told that singing was not allowed in the pub because it did not hold an entertainment licence. The girl at the centre of the row, Emma Pears, 23, described the pub's action as "pathetic". She said: "My friends started singing happy birthday to me, and the next minute, a member of staff came over and threatened to throw us out if they did not stop." A local newspaper described Wetherspoon as "party poopers" and then laid on a free birthday party for the group in a rival pub. However, Bassetlaw council said it was unlikely the Liquorice Gardens would be prosecuted if it allowed customers to sing happy birthday. A Wetherspoon spokesman said: "My information is that this group was becoming raucous and annoying other customers. We will always back our managers and staff and leave issues like this to their judgement." Wetherspoon has a blanket non-entertainment policy, which it claims has been a key element in the success of its pubs.

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