Stop Government imposing Covid-19 rules without consulting Parliament!

by Velma Cooke

Stop Government imposing Covid-19 rules without consulting Parliament!

by Velma Cooke
Velma Cooke
Case Owner
I run the Tudor Rose pub in Southall, London. I'm fighting for fairer treatment for all pubs, publicans and other venues who have found themselves unfairly penalised by Covid-19 restrictions.
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Velma Cooke
Case Owner
I run the Tudor Rose pub in Southall, London. I'm fighting for fairer treatment for all pubs, publicans and other venues who have found themselves unfairly penalised by Covid-19 restrictions.
Pledge now

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We are bringing a judicial review challenging the Government’s undemocratic attempts to impose Covid-19 restrictions without consulting Parliament in advance, and the heavy-handed use of these restrictions by the police to target licensed venues in a way that was never intended. 

STOP DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PUBS,  PUBLICANS, and LICENSEES!

Although we are launching this judicial review following the appalling way the Tudor Rose, 68 The Green, Southall, UB2 4BG has been treated, we are making our case on behalf of all pubs, publicans, and other venues who have found themselves unfairly penalised by the authorities who have abused their position and the Covid crisis to fine and close venues in this way.

This is supported by the national grassroots organisation, the Campaign for Pubs,  and by publicans up and down the country – we need YOUR help to crowdfund it – so please make a donation and share this page today!   

Background

AN ABUSE OF THE LAW & HEAVY-HANDED POLICING

On 21 October 2020, the police used powers under s. 53A of the Licensing Act 2003 to apply to shut down The Tudor Rose. They said we (or people at our venue) broke the (former) Covid-19 regulations, and that this was a “serious crime” which justified taking our licence away. We think that it was illegal for the police to do that, and we’re prepared to go to court to show that. It is our opinion that it is an abuse of the law for the police to claim that a ‘serious crime’ was committed when “serious crime” in law refers only to really serious offences like drug-smuggling and violent assault.

Our Case 

GOVERNMENT FAILED TO CONSULT PARLIAMENT

The police say that that the Tudor Rose broke the Covid-19 regulations, but we believe that those regulations never validly came into effect. The Government said that it needed to make the regulations urgently, and so it didn’t need to consult Parliament. However, that was wrong: the Government had plenty of time but chose to bypass Parliament anyway. Without Parliament’s permission, those regulations were not validly made, and cannot justify the police taking the steps they have against us. 

As we have indicated, we also say that the police were wrong to suggest that any serious crime was associated with The Tudor Rose. They are putting forward that argument so they can use the Covid-19 regulations in a heavy-handed way to take our licence away. They say that we, on two occasions, had more people in our venue than we should have done. In law that does not qualify as serious crime. The law is clear that “serious crime” refers only to really serious offences like violent assault and drug-smuggling.

The Tudor Rose is not the only venue unfairly closed or fined – so this case is relevant to many other similar cases. We need the High Court to make clear that this heavy-handed and unreasonable treatment of pubs is wrong and should not continue.  

Why this matters

We are bringing this case because we think the police were wrong to apply to take our licence away, but the issues at stake are much bigger than that. 

  • First, an excessively broad definition of “serious crime”, like the one adopted by the police in our case, would allow the police to continue to shut down venues very easily using a summary process that disadvantages the licensee. This isn’t a power Parliament intended for the police to exercise so widely. We intend to ask the court to tell that to the police so that they can’t do this to other venues. 


  • Second, this is also about our democracy. The Government has been using urgent law-making powers to bypass Parliament, even where the situation has been known about for some time and cannot be claimed to be so ‘urgent’ that it may not be considered by MPs. By ignoring this the Government has imposed significant restrictions on our personal liberties with a flick of the ministerial pen. We will ask the court to tell the Government that it is wrong about that and that Parliament should have been consulted. 


So we need to challenge the Government on behalf of the Tudor Rose – and all pubs and venues unfairly treated during this extremely challenging time for pubs, the hospitality industry and the millions of people who rely upon it for their jobs. 

What we are raising

We have personally funded and raised some funds to start the process of judicial review and we are seeking to raise further funds of £10,000 to take us to the next step.  We believe we need to raise funds of over £30,000 to bring this action and claim against the police and challenge the Covid-19 regulations. So far, we have instructed solicitors from Dadds LLP, a specialist licensing firm, and specialist leading barristers from Blackstone Chambers, Francis Taylor Building, and Cornerstone Chambers. PLEASE SEE Our pre-action protocol letter sent to the Police and the Government, setting out why we think they have acted illegally and why the Covid-19 regulations are invalid, is here.

What will happen next

If we can reach our fundraising target, we will send a letter to the police and the Government, setting out why we think they have acted illegally and why the Covid-19 regulations are invalid. If they do not respond satisfactorily, we will then begin the process of issuing a claim in the Administrative Court and commencing judicial review proceedings against them.

So we need your help! If you support pubs – and fairness in the law – then please make a donation TODAY!  

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