Parliament's bars WILL stop serving alcohol at 10pm in U-turn

Last orders! Parliament’s bars WILL stop serving alcohol at 10pm in U-turn after fury that MPs were NOT subject to the same rules as the rest of the country

  • Bars inside Parliament will now follow the government’s 10pm alcohol curfew 
  • Facilities serving inside Palace of Westminster are as a ‘workplace canteen’  
  • Comes after a curfew was imposed on on pubs, bars and restaurants in England

Parliament’s bars will stop serving alcohol by 10pm, it was announced today – following fury that MPs were not subject to the same rules as the rest of the country.

The authorities at the Houses made the change with ‘immediate’ effect as they faced a huge backlash at an apparent exemption.

The exclusive outlets on the estate had been classed as a ‘workplace canteen’, meaning they were not covered by the tough restrictions imposed by Boris Johnson last week.

But a Parliament spokesman said today: ‘Alcohol will not be sold after 10pm anywhere on the parliamentary estate.’ 

It comes just a week after the Prime Minister set out a raft of measures designed to clampdown on Covid-19, including imposing a 10pm curfew on all pubs, bars and restaurants in England.

Despite the new measures, staff and visitors inside Parliament can still enter its handful of bars without being forced to leave at 10pm and are also not required to provide a name and contact number upon entry, The Times reported.

Bars inside Parliament are exempt from the Government’s newly imposed 10pm curfew which came into effect this week. Pictured: Boris Johnson and Michael Gove pulling pints at the Old Chapel pub in Darwen, Lancashire

The revelations come after a number of bars in Parliament, including the Strangers’ Dining Room, the Adjournment and the Members’ Smoking Room and Pugin Room, were reopened to MPs before the summer recess.

One source told The Times the rules were ‘a massive own goal’ for Parliament.  

This week Boris Johnson announced a new wave of Covid-19 restrictions that could last up to six months- including a 10pm curfew on bars, pubs and restaurants in England.

The 10pm curfew on the hospitality sector sparked an immediate industry backlash as the UKHospitality group said it was ‘another crushing blow’.

There were also fears the move could have unintended consequences amid warnings of a potential ‘surge of unregulated events and house parties’.

Tory MPs also expressed concerns about the curfew plans, describing them as a ‘terrible blow’ for the hospitality industry and warning there must not be another ‘major lockdown’.

The Strangers’ Dining Room (pictured) was among a number of bars that was opened to staff inside Parliament following the national lockdown

Facilities serving alcohol inside the Palace of Westminster are not subject to the 10pm curfew as they are classified as a ‘workplace canteen’. Pictured: The Strangers dining hall

It was claimed that Mr Johnson had initially backed a total shutdown of the hospitality and leisure sectors before Chancellor Rishi Sunak persuaded him to take a less severe course after warning of economic carnage. 

Just hours after setting out the new measures, the Prime Minister issued an emotional plea to the nation and warned Britons they faced a long hard winter of police-enforced curbs on their freedom to see off coronavirus.

He also hit out at his critics – including Tory MPs and business leaders who warned of the economic impact of the tough measures, adding: ‘To those who say we don’t need this stuff, and we should leave people to take their own risks, I say these risks are not our own.

‘The tragic reality of having Covid is that your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell. 

‘And as for the suggestion that we should simply lock up the elderly and the vulnerable – with all the suffering that would entail – I must tell you that this is just not realistic.

‘Because if you let the virus rip through the rest of the population it would inevitably find its way through to the elderly as well, and in much greater numbers.’ 

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