One pub landlord singlehandedly struck a major blow to the credibility of Britain’s biggest pub chain this week.
Punch Taverns has had to “apologise unreservedly” after members of the Labour campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT) were turned away from one of its pubs.
According to LGBT Labour, the manager of The Greencoat Boy, a pub in Westminster, said that he would not have taken the the booking had he known in advance it was for a gay organisation.
It sounds medieval doesn’t it.
Punch Taverns have had a major damage limitation operation on their hands ever since. They have apparently said they are “shocked and saddened” by the event and have so far released this statement:
“Across our estate, diversity and inclusion are a core part of our ethics and are clearly referenced in our recruitment process, our equal opportunities policy and training. We would like to stress that this is an isolated incident; we have a good track record on equal opportunities and we do not tolerate homophobia in our pubs, whether from guests to other guests, or involving our employees.”
Punch Taverns said it was investigating what had happened and would co-operate with both police (who were called to the scene on Friday evening) and the campaign group.
LGBT Labour said it welcomed the apology and hoped there would be a positive outcome to the matter, with improved training for managers on equality issues and a focus on welcoming gay and transgender customers.
James Asser, the co-chair of LGBT Labour, said: “Thanks to 13 years of a Labour Government it is now illegal to be turned away from a bar because of your sexuality. We were surprised by the shocking action of the Greencoat Boy public house management. “Turning people away for being gay is outrageous – he should have been defending his customers from homophobia.”
I personally think they should make the pub manager himself face the music.