U-turn over plan for Parliament’s bars to be exempt from 10pm curfew

Parliamentary bosses have performed a swift U-turn over plans to make the bars exempt from the 10pm curfew.

Facilities serving alcohol in the parliamentary estate were set to not face the closing time because they were deemed as a “workplace canteen”.

But the decision to let MPs and parliamentary staff carry on drinking while revellers across the country were turfed sparked a huge backlash.

Authorities have now confirmed booze will not be sold in the Palace of Westminster’s watering holes, the Mirror reports.

A Parliament spokesman said: “Alcohol will not be sold after 10pm anywhere on the parliamentary estate.”

Bars that recently reopened on the parliament estate include the Members’ Smoking Room, the Pugin Room, Strangers’ Dining Room and the Adjournment.

Under the new regulations announced last week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to tackle coronavirus, workplace canteens can stay open where there is no alternative for workers to get food.

One parliamentary source told the Times that it was "a massive own goal".

Critics had hit out at the move, saying it showed there was "one rule for us, one rule for them".

Labour's Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: "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."

Comedian John O’Farrell tweeted: “Is it that they were worried about the most dangerous and destructive individuals all spilling out onto the streets at 10pm, so they kept the House of Commons bars open?”

Labour MP Wes Streeting posted: "This is ridiculous and makes Parliament look ridiculous.

"This has got to change immediately. We can’t have one rule for Parliament and one rule for everyone else."

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