Who is Sadiq Khan kidding? London isn't even the UK's most 24-hour city, let alone the world's

5 March 2024, 12:01 | Updated: 5 March 2024, 21:46

London's nightlife really is lame
London's nightlife really is lame. Picture: Alamy/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

It's a Thursday night, you're out with your mates for a pint.

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Three or four more pints later, as you head off home to get at least a few hours sleep before work, you fancy something to eat.

"Italian?" one mate suggests. "Sure," you say, "let's grab a quick meal, it's only 10.30pm."

If only, eh?

The reality is, if you want to grab something to eat late at night in London, you'd be incredibly lucky to get something that wasn't McDonald's or Chicken Cottage.

And for most Londoners, the only reason to be leaving the pub at 10.30pm is because of the ridiculously early last orders these days.

So, when the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, claimed this week that London is the world's leading 24-hour city, I can't be the only one thinking: what planet is he on?

Concert Square in Liverpool
Concert Square in Liverpool. Picture: Getty

I've lived in London for the better part of three years, with one of those years being at university, and that is not a description I would even think about using.

And I like to think I have a pretty good outlook on the UK's nightlife, having grown up in Birmingham, and gone out on countless nights out in Manchester, Liverpool, and Brighton.

All four of those cities have an infinitely better nightlife than London.

This isn't about bringing down London as a city, because it can be an incredible place to live, but the reality is, its nightlife is flagging well behind the rest of the country.

Just how can the Mayor make such a brazen claim when more than 1,000 bars and clubs have closed their doors since Covid?

It really does make you wonder where Mr Khan and his £120,000-a-year Night Czar, Amy Lame, are going for their nights out.

It simply isn't true to say London is leading the world's nightlife scene.

I visited Spain last summer to see some family and we frequently visited the local village, Cancelada (population size 1,886), and even that offered more in the way of nightlife.

Every night we would see Spaniards wandering into town at 11.30pm, sitting down for a full meal and drinking the night away.

It also left us wondering why we'd got there at 7pm, before we realised we'd been conditioned by living in London.

The same can be said from my experiences in Athens, Sorrento and countless other cities, where the centres are absolutely buzzing at 1am.

But the idea that you could start your night out in London at that late hour is just unfathomable in 2024.

So please, Mr Khan, who are you kidding? You and Ms Lame really need to get out into central London of an evening and see for yourself that this great city's nightlife is dying.

LBC Views provides a platform for diverse opinions on current affairs and matters of public interest. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official LBC position.

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