A Midlands licensee unwittingly broke a condition of his licence after he was thrown out of his local pubwatch group.
The unnamed host now faces the prospect of having his licence reviewed. National Pubwatch said the case shows why it is not a good idea for membership of a pubwatch to be a licence condition.
The licensee was expelled for allegedly breaking the group's rules by disclosing confidential information about a person who received a pubwatch ban. Council licensing chiefs have now threatened to review the host's licence.
National Pubwatch honorary secretary Malcolm Eidmans said: "The actions of the pubwatch were correct, but a problem will arise where an authority has made [membership of a pubwatch] a licence condition as being thrown out of the watch, or if the watch collapsed, causes a breach of conditions.
"But this is not really a matter that justifies a licence review, unless there are additional concerns about the way the premises in question are being run."
Morning Advertiser legal editor Peter Coulson agreed with this view. "If he is thrown out of a pubwatch for reasons beyond his control, it shouldn't jeopardise his licence," he said.