House of Commons speaker bans sale of alcohol in parliament

Vincent Wood
Thursday 15 October 2020 23:17
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In provinces under tier three guidelines - a category which so far only includes Merseyside - alcohol can only be bought from a hospitality premises when accompanied by  a 'substantial meal'
In provinces under tier three guidelines - a category which so far only includes Merseyside - alcohol can only be bought from a hospitality premises when accompanied by  a 'substantial meal'

The Palace of Westminster is set to turn off its taps and call time in its bars as the sale of alcohol on the parliamentary estate is prohibited to reflect the state of lockdown across the country.

The ban, brought in by the speaker of the house Sir Lindsay Hoyle, following limits on hospitality venues brought forward in the latest round of government guidance - with provinces under the effect of a tier three local lockdown forced to close any pub or bar that does not sell food.

However unlike parts of the country, the speaker said the measure will come into effect on Saturday whether “food is served or not”.

Outside the parliamentary estate tier two restrictions are set to be placed on all of the capital’s 32 boroughs as well as York and parts of Essex - a rating which rules out indoor mixing between different households.

In provinces under tier three guidelines - a category which so far only includes Merseyside - alcohol can only be bought from a hospitality premises when accompanied by  a “substantial meal”, according to Government guidance.

Sir Lindsay said: “Following the Government’s decision to move London into the Tier 2 Covid alert category, I have asked the parliamentary authorities to introduce measures to bring the House of Commons into line with the national picture.

“As MPs represent different constituencies in different tiers - with the very highest level ordering the closure of pubs - I have decided to stop the sale of alcohol across the House of Commons end of the estate from this Saturday.

“This means it will not be possible to buy an alcoholic drink from any of our catering outlets for the foreseeable future - whether food is served or not.

“The House of Commons Commission will be meeting on Monday to consider other measures needed to protect MPs, their staff and House staff, while maintaining our Covid-secure status.”

It comes after parliamentary authorities were the subject of public anger after it was discovered the nationwide 10pm curfew on licensed premises did not apply to the estate’s bars - which technically operate as workplace canteens.

After calls for the loophole to be closed by both voters and MPs, the sale of drinks was banned across the estate after the curfew time.

Additional reporting by PA

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