Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Travellers' Rest?

JD Wetherspoon, one of the UK’s largest pub chains has been found guilty of racial discrimination after its staff refused to allow a group of Gypsies and Travellers into a branch in north London. Staff at The Coronet in Holloway Road had acted illegally when they denied entry to a group of people who had been attending a nearby conference organised by the Traveller Movement charity. Its policy had been “irrational” and that his thinking had been “suffused with the stereotypical assumption that Irish Travellers and English Gypsies cause disorder wherever they go”. The then manager of the pub had specifically hired security staff to stand outside the pub on the day it was scheduled to take place.

The company’s founder and chairman Tim Martin attending “almost every day” of the court hearing. “They fought this case tooth and nail,” he said, adding that in his view the company’s decision to defend the claim made it more than “just a local issue”.

A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: “In modern Britain, no one should face being denied service in a shop or pub because of their race. Cases of this nature are unfortunately still too prevalent.”

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