Pub 'refused to serve gay group'

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The Independent Online

A pub chain has issued an apology after a gay group said that its duty manager had taken issue over their sexuality.

The Greencoat Boy pub in Westminster was forced to apologise to the Labour Party's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Society which alleges that its members were refused service by the establishment's duty manager.

According to members of the society, the pub's management took offence to the group's display banner which the manager told members would cause "offence to customers".

It is also alleged that the duty manager said that if he had known the group was gay he would not have accepted the booking. The allegations prompted the pub's owner, Punch Taverns, to launch an investigation, and the issue has been referred to the Metropolitan Police as a possible breach of equality laws.

James Asser, co-chair of the LGBT Labour said: "We were surprised by the shocking action of the Greencoat Boy public house management. Turning people away for being gay is outrageous – he should have been defending his customers from homophobia."

Messages of support came from Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon Brown, John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, and Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

A spokesman for Punch Taverns denied the group were refused drinks because of their sexuality. He also disputed whether the duty manager had made the statement about bookings.