Over pub's licence bid

Related tags Red lion London

by John Harrington The Tories have been accused of distorting the facts about a pub's bid to get a late licence in an apparent bid to score political...

by John Harrington

The Tories have been accused of distorting the facts about a pub's bid to get a late licence in an apparent bid to score political points.

The Conservatives claimed the Red Lion in Whitehall - 'Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's local pub' - had its variation rejected on 'public nuisance' and 'public safety grounds' on advice from police and environmental health officers.

Tory culture secretary Theresa May said the new licensing laws 'threaten an explosion in public nuisance and violent crime across the country - but not for ministers who don't want it in their back yard'.

However, Westminster City Council said the Red Lion's application - to serve alcohol until 1am Thursdays to Saturdays and midnight Sundays to Wednesdays - was rejected because there was not enough time to put it before the licensing committee.

Police and environmental health officers did make representations on the grounds of public safety and nuisance.

Because of the backlog at the council, bids with objections from police and councils were automatically rejected because it was assumed they would not be passed.

The Red Lion, a popular haunt for MPs, is owned by Spirit Group and managed by Jane de Vaux, wife of National Pubwatch chairman Raoul de Vaux.

A Spirit spokeswoman said: 'The Red Lion pub in Whitehall has not been refused on the grounds of public nuisance or public safety.

'We are lodging an appeal as it would appear that the reason for the licence not being granted has been Westminster Council's delay in dealing with their licensing administration in recent weeks.'

A Conservative Party spokesman refuted suggestions that the party had lied about the Red Lion's bid in order to attack the Government.

He said it was assumed the variation would not be accepted because of the representations. 'It is a matter of public record that Westminster Council, with its consultation team, recommended that the late licence extension be rejected on public safety and public nuisance grounds,' he added.

Related topics Licensing law

Property of the week

BERKSHIRE - RENOVATED PUB WITH FOUR LETTING BEDROOMS

- Leasehold

Village position close to Reading and Newbury Extensively renovated public house Bar, conservatory, snug and function room (80-90) Four en suite letting bedrooms Two bedroom owner/staff accommodation Part-covered trade garden...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more