Tag Archives: curfew

Pub ban for curfew-backing MP: he says it’s political but they say he ‘killed us’

Don’t shed any tears for Warrington South MP Andy Carter, who has been banned from 30 pubs, clubs and bars in his town after voting in a 10pm curfew for them.

He has retaliated to the ban by the local Pubwatch scheme, saying it had been used for political aims that brought it “into disrepute”.

But this is nonsense. His own colleague Victoria Atkins, minister for safeguarding, said in 2019 that “Pubwatch enables licensees to take collective action against troublemakers”, and what could make more trouble for local pubs than a Parliamentary decision that one local Pubwatch member said “absolutely killed us”?

He said people were angry and Mr Carter had shown “no support for the hospitality industry at a time when we need as much as we can get”.

Carter’s own claim that the hospitality industry had enjoyed a huge amount of government help is risible as he mentioned Eat Out to Help Out, Rishi Sunak’s scheme that has been proved to have accelerated the second wave of Covid-19.

Sunak has refused to rule out bringing the scheme back.

Who will take him up on it, I wonder?

Source: Lifetime pub ban for Warrington MP who backed 10pm curfew – BBC News

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If Matt Hancock has broken his own 10pm pub curfew, why should YOU honour it?

Matt Hancock – and the best word to describe him.

So much for the 10pm pub curfew. Once again, it seems, the Tories have led by example – if it’s okay for them to break it, it’s okay for you to break it too.

According to the Mail, of all papers, Matt Hancock – the Health Secretary who championed lockdown measures like the curfew – was caught breaking it after a late-evening vote:

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was last night accused of breaking his own Covid curfew by drinking in a Commons bar beyond 10pm – where he made a crass joke about the Government’s test and trace failings.

Mr Hancock arrived at the bar just before a 9.40pm vote, ordered a glass of white wine and announced: ‘The drinks are on me – but Public Health England are in charge of the payment methodology so I will not be paying anything.’

His ill-conceived joke came after he had tried to explain to the Commons why the quango had lost nearly 16,000 positive coronavirus tests – a fiasco which Labour claimed had put ‘lives at risk’.

A senior Tory MP told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Hancock remained in the Smoking Room bar until at least 10.25pm, despite Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle insisting that Commons venues must abide by the same 10pm drink-up-and-leave curfew as all English pubs.

A spokesperson for Hancock has tried to explain away what happened, but the comment lacks something – namely any explanation of where Hancock was after 10pm on the evening in question:

In a carefully worded statement last night, a spokesman for the Health Secretary said: ‘No rules have been broken.

‘The Secretary of State was in the Smoking Room prior to the vote that evening.

‘The Secretary of State left the Smoking Room to vote. The vote took place at 9:42pm. ‘The Secretary of State then departed the Parliamentary estate to go home.’

Asked whether Mr Hancock had returned to the bar after voting and before he went home, the spokesman failed to respond.

Doesn’t that tend to indicate that he had?

The public verdict is out already:

But the story was omitted from mention on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show today (October 11) – for no apparent reason:

I publish this tweet also, as it links Hancock with the acts of other Tories:

The practical upshot of all this is that Hancock has provided us all with an excuse to drink – in pubs – after the 10pm curfew.

If it’s okay for the Health Secretary to carry on drinking in the Smoking Bar of Parliament, it is clearly fine for the rest of us to do the same.

That’s leadership by example.

And if we all do it, there’s nothing the Tories or the police can do about it.

Yes – there is the question of public safety. But the government has never provided a scrap of evidence that drinking in pubs between 10pm and 11pm actually increases the risk of catching Covid-19 to those involved.

And there needs to be accountability.

If these arrogant, unaccountable Tories keep breaking their own rules, they need to see that we will ignore those rules as well. We are all in this together.

Source: Matt Hancock makes tasteless Covid test joke in Commons bar as he ‘joined MPs flouting 10pm curfew’ | Daily Mail Online

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Can Parliament’s bars let us know how many post-10pm drinkers catch Covid-19, please?

NOTE: Shortly after I published this story, Parliament’s bars announced that they will stop selling alcohol after 10pm. The reason?

MPs said the rules risked making Parliament look “ridiculous” to the public.

That was very much my intention when I wrote the following:

I think it’s great that Parliament has put up its own bars as testing-grounds for the effectiveness of the 10pm pub drinking curfew.

It seems the bars on the Parliamentary estate – the Members’ Dining Room, Adjournment, Smoking Room, Terrace Pavilion, Pugin Room and Members’ Tea Room are exempt as they provide a food and bar service:

A spokesperson for the House of Commons confirmed that the new restrictions on hospitality do not apply to the venues on the parliamentary estate, saying: “As catering outlets providing a workplace service for over 3,100 people working on the Estate, the current regulations on hospitality venues do not apply to Commons facilities.”

Some have said this is another example of Boris Johnson’s cronies setting one law for us and then breaking it themselves. Many of them made reference to Orwell’s Animal Farm (which may soon be banned under Gavin Williamson’s new education rules):

Others disagree with the Animal Farm reference. I haven’t read it so I’m not in a position to comment.

But I do hope that the authorities at the Parliamentary bars keep us appraised of how their brave effort to keep our democracy in alcohol goes.

They will of course be keeping details of everybody who enters, in case Covid-19 breaks out in one, several, or all of these bars.

I expect regular updates. If they show no infections, we’ll know that it is safe to open all the rest of the UK’s pubs for normal hours again. Won’t we?

Source: Parliament bars exempt from 10pm curfew | The Independent