G-A-Y owner pushes ahead with curfew legal challenge after 'dither and delay' by Government

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Photo credit: Ross Burgess (Wiki Commons)
Photo credit: Ross Burgess (Wiki Commons)

Related tags Curfew Coronavirus Legal challenge Government Night time economy

The owner of London’s G-A-Y nightclub in Soho is to proceed with his a legal challenge against the Government's 10pm curfew on hospitality businesses.

It was reported earlier this week​ that Jeremy Joseph - who also operates G-A-Y Late and Heaven in London, as well as G-A-Y Manchester - had instructed leading barristers at Kings Chambers, including Sam Karim QC, Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides, along with Dan Rosenberg of Simpson Miller Solicitors, to challenge the restrictions. 

A formal challenge of the legislation had been sent to Health Secretary Matt Hancock demanding the Government provide evidence to justify the existence of the curfew, which has been in place since 24 September 2020 and has been widely criticised by industry experts and politicians alike.

However, despite Joseph giving an extension of time to reply to his lawyers, the Government has so far failed to provided any evidence and has instead asked for a full 14 days to respond. 

As such, Joseph says he has instructed his lawyers to issue judicial review proceedings against the Government to challenge the 10pm curfew, which he describes as 'arbitrary and nonsensical'.

"Our response was clear; if this evidence existed Matt Hancock would surely have it to hand," says Joseph.

"Why the dither and delay?

"The fact is the Government has still not provided any justification for a law that is putting customers, businesses and jobs at risk with every passing day.

"Yesterday (8 October) it was reported in the press​ that Boris Johnson is planning to shut down hospitality venues in the North from Monday and a 'traffic light' system for local lockdowns is likely to be announced in the coming days.

Even with a 'green-light', hospitality is expected to have to close at 10pm.

"This industry will not survive an ongoing curfew, especially if we are going to be put into more lockdowns, it’s impossible."

Joseph adds that he believes the curfew goes against the Government’s own guidance, citing the fact that it has led to the overcrowding of public places and transport hubs​.

"The curfew is not only thoughtless but threatens lives and likely leads to the increase of Covid contamination," he adds.

"It undermines all the good work being done by our NHS and our hospitality industry.  

"Since the Government will not engage with us, G-A-Y has been left with no choice but to take immediate action to protect hospitality and public safety."

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