LATEST POST ON GREENCOAT BOY AND STATEMENT FROM PUNCH TAVERNS HERE.
Following their AGM at the party’s media centre in Victoria Street, members of LGBT Labour went to a pre-booked social at the nearby Greencoat Boy pub earlier this evening. Astonished activists were then refused service on the basis that they were gay:
If early reports bear out then the pub would seem likely to have breached the UK’s equality legislation. The group contacted the police and, at the time of writing, members Richard Angell, Richard Lane and James Asser are at Charing Cross police station giving statements.
Pub owners Punch Taverns now find themselves at the centre of a social media backlash, with “Greencoat Boy” the #1 trending topic in the UK and a boycott Facebook group with more than 200 members in just two hours.
Is that a grovelling apology on the horizon?
UPDATE: Activist Grace Fletcher-Hackwood has posted a photo (reproduced below) of LGBT members with the police. Members also linked arms in the pub in protest.
UPDATE II: Ed Balls has called the incident “really shocking” and John Prescott tweeted “40 years ago we campaigned against a Hull pub that banned ‘women & queers’. This is disgraceful.” Stella Creasy MP has pledged to raise the issue with the Home Secretary “unless Punch Taverns act”. Unconfirmed reports that the pub’s duty manager claimed the group were “shouting and being rude”.
UPDATE III: Scrapbook have spoken to Punch Taverns’ PR team, who phoned Richard Angell earlier and plan to release a statement tomorrow. We’ll run it here in full. At 23:25 the story is still going strong on Twitter, #2 in the UK. Sarah Brown has tweeted about the incident to her 1.1 million followers.