Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle bans sale of alcohol in Commons bars

15 October 2020, 20:34 | Updated: 15 October 2020, 20:53

Sir Lindsay Hoyle will ban the sale of alcohol in Commons bars from Saturday
Sir Lindsay Hoyle will ban the sale of alcohol in Commons bars from Saturday. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has banned the sale of alcohol in the House of Commons as London gets set to move up a lockdown level.

The parliamentarian confirmed that all bars and restaurants in the Commons will no longer be allowed to sell alcoholic drinks from Saturday even if somebody is having a meal.

He 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."

Read more: London to enter Tier 2 Covid restrictions from midnight on Friday

Explained: When does London's Tier 2 lockdown start? What are the restrictions?

Under the new measures, “workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food”.

It comes following a controversy at the end of last month when it was announced that bars in the Commons would not be subject to the nationwide 10pm curfew rules.

Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock also denied claims that he had broken the government's Covid drinking curfew.

The Mail on Sunday reported he had breached the restrictions introduced by ministers to halt the spread of coronavirus.

However, following anger from the public, a parliamentary spokesman said: “Alcohol will not be sold after 10pm anywhere on the parliamentary estate.”

With London set to enter Tier 2 lockdown restrictions at midnight on Friday, pubs and restaurants can remain open but they must adhere to the 10pm curfew and people can only dine or drink with people from within their household or support bubble.

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