G-A-Y owner 'not giving up' after court refuses to let curfew legal challenge go ahead

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 has 'decided not to give up' after a court refused permission for his legal challenge against the 10pm curfew to go ahead.

In a statement, Jeremy Joseph said the court's decision was made on the papers submitted by G-A-Y and the Government.

However, he added that there is still the chance for his lawyers to argue before a judge why the case should be allowed to go ahead and for a judge to make a different decision.

"This can happen so we have decided not to give up," he said.

Joseph, who also operates G-A-Y Late and Heaven in London, as well as G-A-Y Manchester, announced earlier this month that he was proceeding with his a legal challenge against the 10pm curfew on hospitality businesses​ after claiming the Government failed to provided any evidence to justify its existence.

He had previously 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, which he describes as 'arbitrary and nonsensical'.

The curfew, which has been in place in England since 24 September 2020, has been widely criticised by industry experts and politicians alike.

"Since we made our last announcement, the tier system has been introduced with more protective measures introduced and venues across the country, including G-A-Y Manchester, have been forced to close," said Joseph.

"Knowing that even when these venues can reopen they will continue to make losses because of the curfew is heart-breaking, especially when we can see no good reason for it to protect customers and the public.

"All it is doing is putting hospitality out of business, and encouraging people to continue their evening after 10pm at private residences without all of the Covid-secure measures venues like ours have in place.

"So we have instructed our lawyers to renew the application for the court’s permission to go ahead, but this time we will be arguing for permission at an oral hearing.  We still haven’t seen evidence that comes close to justifying the curfew. 

"If the Government had something convincing we would have hoped to have seen it by now. It doesn’t."

Joseph admits that if the oral ‘renewal’ hearing is lost then it is game over as far as court action is concerned, but if it was won the case would go to a full hearing.

"This will not be easy, but we are continuing because G-A-Y believes the 10pm curfew is crippling hospitality and is not helping stop the transmission of the virus.

"So round one may be lost but the battle is not over."

Related topics: Business

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