Brown: "I've always had doubts about 24-hour licensing

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: 24-hour licensing, Tony blair, Labour party, Prime minister of the united kingdom, Prime minister gordon brown

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has admitted he has "always had doubts" about 24-hour licensing, but conceded it is working in some places. Brown, who...

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has admitted he has "always had doubts" about 24-hour licensing, but conceded it is working in some places.

Brown, who has vowed to give councils more powers to restrict opening hours, made the extraordinary admission during an interview on the BBC's Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Politics Show​.

"I myself have always had doubts about 24-hour licensing, I'll be honest with you," he told the show - due to be broadcast this Sunday.

But he added: "Equally at the same time it has worked in some places because rather than everyone descending onto the streets at one particular hour, it has spread things over a longer period of time."

Extended licensing hours were a key Labour pledge during the 2001 General Election - with the party sending a text to voters reading: "Vote Labour if you don't give a XXXX for last orders."

But during the interview, Brown argued that in some towns the liberalised licensing regime was "not working", echoing his speech at this year's Labour Party conference.

He added: "We need to be prepared to give local authorities the power to take away 24-hour licences."

However, the government's own figures reveal that "24-hour drinking" is a myth.

Figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport show that just 10 per cent of 24-hour licences - 640 in total - are for pubs, bars and nightclubs and only a tiny minority of these open around-the clock.

Sixty-one per cent of licences are held by hotels and 20 per cent by supermarkets and off-licences.

Brown admitted tackling the problems was difficult. "We will always have problems on a Saturday night…that's just an unfortunate fact of life," he said.

Related topics: Licensing law

Property of the week

The Hazeldene Hotel

- Tenancy

The Hazeldene Hotel is opposite the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green. With 11 letting rooms, it is in a prime location to offer fantastic...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more