MPs tried to nationalise Westminster pub for their own use while Parliament is being refurbished – The Sun

THIRSTY MPs tried to nationalise a pub in Westminster to avoid a drinking ban when they are forced to move out the Houses of Parliament.

Politicians are being relocated to the Department of Health’s offices while a multi-billion pound refurbishment of a crumbling House of Commons takes place, but no booze can be sold on the premises.

This is because the building, Richmond House, is one of three owned by Middle East financiers who bought into an Islamic bond issued by the government.

One of the stipulations of the agreement is that no alcohol will be sold on the premises.

But in order to get around the regulations MPs suggested the Red Lion pub on Whitehall, which sits in-between Parliament and Richmond House, was taken into public ownership.

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This would mean the public would be banned from the popular venue for the six years it is expected to take to repair leaking roofs, crumbling stonework, faulty cabling and straighten the Big Ben clock tower.

Nationalising the pub could have cut the price of a pint by £1 to match the rate in the Palace of Westminster grounds.


But the move was opposed by Fuller’s Inns, the pub’s owners, with the company's managing director, Jonathon Swaine, saying MPs "make great customers, but probably lousy landlords".

The committee in charge of sorting out the plan for fixing up Parliament eventually ruled the idea out, according to the Times.

The 650 MPs, who currently enjoy the use of 10 licensed bars and restaurants at subsidised rates on the parliamentary estates, will still need to make alternative drinking arrangements when the work begins after 2020.

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