Bars inside the Palace of Westminster were exempt from the English rules on hospitality as it fell under the description of a “workplace canteen”.

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Parliamentary bars that serve alcohol at Westminster will now not be selling drinks after 10pm.

An article from The Times prompted a furious response, after it revealed that bars inside the Palace of Westminster were exempt from 10pm hospitality curfew as they fall under the description of a “workplace canteen”.

It meant that MPs could drink inside the facilities after 10pm while English rules on the mandatory gathering of customers’ details was not followed.

Officials at the Parliament have performed a swift U-turn following a furious backlash from vast swathes of the public.

A spokesperson told the Mirror : “Alcohol will not be sold after 10pm anywhere on the parliamentary estate.”

The House of Commons authorities had promised to keep the arrangements under review but a source told The Times it was “a massive own goal”.

The move prompted fury from a number of MPs, while a union boss said thousands of public servants were being put at risk.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner tweeted: “Not good, so many in the hospitality sector on the verge of collapse or struggling to cope, they will be rightly very angry to read this.

“We should get our own house in order before demanding others follow regulations, people are fed up with this nonsense.”

SNP MP Anne McLaughlin tweeted: “I was in the House of Commons all last week. I managed to do my job, attend meetings, vote, deal with constituency work and speak in Parly on four occasions all without the aid of alcohol. I just assumed the bars were shut. This is ridiculous.”

“Nightly 100s of MPs queue up for over 1km with no social distancing to vote, ignoring rule of 6 and now its watering holes exempt from 10pm curfew thats killing hospitality sector.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, which represents parliamentary staff, said: “It’s not just the “optics” on this that are terrible (don’t judge me).

“Parliament is a workplace for thousands of public servants who are at risk of infection if rules that are meant to protect them and the MPs themselves are flouted or avoided.”

Parliament has a number of bars and restaurants for MPs, peers and Parliamentary staff to use.

Several have reopened since lockdown measures eased in the summer, including the Pugin Room, Strangers’ Dining Room, the Adjournment and the Members’ Smoking Room.


News – Drinking at parliament bars u-turn after 10pm curfew exemption