Howitt's bars off the market

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rebel hamish howitt Human rights Hamish howitt

Smoke ban rebel Hamish Howitt is taking his bars off the market and has vowed to take his fight to the European Court of Human Rights. Howitt,...

Smoke ban rebel Hamish Howitt is taking his bars off the market and has vowed to take his fight to the European Court of Human Rights.

Howitt, licensee of Delboy's Sports Bar and Happy Scots karaoke bar, in Blackpool, previously said he was selling up due to the cost of fighting the council over the ban.

But he told thepublican.com: "I'm taking my pub off the market and am more determined than ever."

He also ruled out plans to move to Spain to run a bar with fellow smoke ban rebel Nick Hogan.

However Howitt may not have a bar left to run after Blackpool Council yesterday revoked the premises licence of Delboy's Sports Bar.

The licence was revoked on the basis that three of the four licensing objectives had not been upheld - prevention of crime and disorder; protection of children from harm, and protection of public safety.

But Howitt said he will appeal the decision, which must be done within 21 days. "I'm confident I can get this overturned," he said. "I don't compromise safety, that's something I would never do. I love my public."

He also claimed the council had revoked the licence on evidence from Happy Scots, Howitt's basement karaoke bar, which has a separate licence. "Without a doubt they have got the wrong premises," he said.

Howitt is back in the magistrates court tomorrow facing charges over alleged breaches of the smoking ban.

Earlier this month Howitt was fined £500 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to 12 offences of allowing smoking on his premises - becoming the first licensee to be prosecuted for flouting the ban.

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