This afternoon I met virtually with Jeremy Joseph, the owner of the G-A-Y brand of venues in London and Manchester, to discuss his concerns about the impact of the heightened tier system on the night time economy.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to hear directly from Jeremy, following concerns from constituents who work in the night time economy - including one who works for the G-A-Y brand, and to discuss what the steps the Government needs to take to ensure the industry's survival in the coming months.
Jeremy had three clear recommendations, all of which I support:
- Remove the need for food with alcohol
- Last entry at 10pm, not last orders at 10pm
- Staggered closing of venues, not all emptying at once at 11pm
I have written to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, and the Health Secretary on behalf of Jeremy and the wider night time economy, and asked that these points be given urgent consideration ahead of next Tuesday's Motion to approve Regulations related to Public Health. I understand other colleagues are also making representations as well, and I will continue to press the matter with Ministers directly.
It is vital that the night time economy is given the support, with appropriate measures in place, to allow it to continue to operate in a COVID-secure manner.
It is also vitally important for the LGBT community that these venues and spaces, which cater for (but not exclusively to) LGBT people, are protected.
You can read a copy of my letter to the Prime Minister below.