Manchester bar bans MPs as more voices join campaign to lift 10pm curfew on pubs

Pubs, bars and restaurants in Manchester city centre are signing up to the new #CancelTheCurfew campaign in droves – and one venue has even gone as far as banning MPs from the premises.

Cocktail and rum bar MOJO, on Bridge Street, has published a tongue-in-cheek social media post stating that no members of parliament are permitted to enter until they “release the industry”.

The #CancelTheCurfew campaign – which has already amassed dozens of supportive voices from key venues in Manchester including One Eight Six, Cocktail Beer Ramen & Bun, Liars Club and Arcane – is calling on the government to put a stop to the 10pm prohibition so the sector can survive.

Posting on Instagram, MOJO stated: “You won’t serve us, so we won’t serve you!”

It continues: “Today we call on our friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters in bars, pubs and restaurants across the country to join us in putting all the members of parliament on notice.

“Until they see sense and either release our industry to trade or provide us with viable financial support, we will not serve them.

“#cancelthecurfew”.

Martin Greenhow, Managing Director at MOJO, has previously said there is “no evidence to support the assumption that hospitality is driving infection.”

He added: “Hospitality has slaved to work responsibly within the constraints laid out for us and now we are being thrown aside with scant concern for the impact these measures will have on our businesses and the wider economy.”

Growing support for the campaign comes as hospitality finds itself shackled once again by industry-specific COVID-19 restrictions – the latest of which were enforced last week in an attempt to flatten the rising curve of cases in the UK.

Emma Lewell-Buck, Labour MP for South Shields, referenced the campaign in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon, calling the curfew “arbitrary and unevidenced”.

“When on earth will the government abolish this curfew?” she asked.

Bars and restaurants are also arranging a silent protest on Saturday 3 October, with hospitality workers set to stand outside their venues at 10pm.

The campaign’s open letter, addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, states: “A 10pm curfew drives the public from the safe environment of our venues and into areas with no regulations.

“We are not asking for unlimited handouts. We are asking to open our doors. To be allowed to do what we do best whilst keeping our staff and customers safe.”

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