Legal challenge on wet pub closures moves forward

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Legal challenge: Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord says the Government should not have forced wet pubs to close last year
Legal challenge: Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord says the Government should not have forced wet pubs to close last year

Related tags: lockdown, coronavirus, Manchester, Greater manchester

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord is to press ahead with a legal challenge over restrictions on wet pubs.

There will be a two-day hearing over the legality of forcing pubs serving just alcoholic drinks to close.

The night czar said as many wet-led pubs were in the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester the restrictions felt like an attack on the most disadvantaged in society.

Lord told The Morning Advertiser (MA)​: "Following our legal challenge into the fairness of the lockdown measures on the hospitality sector, we were informed yesterday by our legal team that we do have a case at the High Court.

"We will have a two-day hearing to discuss the legality around forcing wet-led pubs to remain shut, while those which serve food can reopen. We believe this is a measure which actively discriminates against the poorest and most disadvantaged sectors in our society.

"We look forward to receiving the court date in due course."

Pubs were only permitted to serve just alcoholic drinks in tier one areas under the Government's pre-lockdown regional coronavirus approach. This meant many wet-led pubs could not reopen after the country's second national lockdown in November/

Pubs in tier two had to serve a 'substantial meal' with drinks while all hospitality venues in tier three were shut.

Chris Jowsey, the chief executive of Admiral Taverns, told The MA​ he felt several rules imposed on wet pubs were ““counter productive” and “don’t make any sense.”

These measures included a 10pm curfew and a requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol.

The pubco boss also called for more targeted support for wet-led community pubs and claimed the Government’s existing support had been “welcome but insufficient”. 

Jowsey said wet pubs had been the victims of a “real lack of knowledge and understanding about how the sector works.”

 

Related topics: Legislation

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