Parliament has clarified its position on whether its drinking establishments are following the government’s 10pm curfew, after it was reported the establishments on the premises had exploited a loophole that classed them as “canteens” for workers.
The regulations announced by the prime minister last week include exemptions that “workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food”, while all other pubs and hospitality venues would shut early.
It led to reports in The Times that parliament was similarly trying to use a similar exemption.
But a spokesman for the House of Commons said a ruling had been made by the speaker last week that alcohol would not be sold after 10pm anywhere on the estate, and that no alcohol has been served since the guidance came in.
Catering facilities will, however, continue to serve food after the deadline when the House is sitting.
Despite being in the centre of London there are relatively few shops surrounding parliament, particularly ones open late at night, and politicians and staff tend to eat on site.
The original reports had angered Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, who claimed: “It’s kicking out time for the entire country, apart from MPs…. Is that a joke? It’s one rule for us and one rule for them.”