H/T Smoking Lamp and Rose for this Telegraph report:
Smoking ban in beer gardens and al-fresco dining areas rejected by ministers
13 April 2017
“A smoking ban in beer gardens and al-fresco dining areas has been blocked by the Government after ministers warned they would infringe on people’s freedom and lead to pub closures.
The proposals to extend the ban to outdoor areas were have been included in a list of demands by councils and health authorities in London which has been supported by Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London.
However the Government has rejected the plans and condemned “Labour’s municipal killjoys” for making the proposal.
Marcus Jones, a minister for local government, said: “We already knew that Labour councils charge higher council taxes and levy more red tape.
“Now Labour’s municipal killjoys have been caught with a smoking gun, trying to ban adults enjoying their local pub garden. If implemented, these ill-founded proposals would lead to massive pub closures.”
“Conservatives in Government will be vetoing these Labour Party plans. Ahead of May’s local elections, local voters have a right to know the bad and mad ideas that are being peddled by Labour councillors.”
There’s a similar report in the Sun:
SMOKING could be banned in pub gardens under secret plans.
The move, led by some Labour councils, would mean the £200 fine on lighting up inside boozers would be extended outside.
Premises would be threatened with closure or clobbered with the existing £2,500 penalty for allowing smoking inside.
Tories last night pledged to block the latest proposals, saying they would trigger job losses.
Documents show Labour-run Haringey Council in North London has been pushing for smoke-free areas to be extended to “alfresco dining areas of restaurants and pub gardens”.
The motion is backed by Labour-led local government organisation London Councils, representing 32 boroughs, plus the capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.
These days I believe that the 2007 smoking ban was a declaration of war not just on smokers, but also on the drinkers in Britain’s pubs. It was part of a vast cultural war that was being launched by the Labour party (assisted by the illiberal and undemocratic Lib Dems) against Christianity, marriage, history, science, language, and everything else that makes up English culture. In fact it was part of a much wider cultural war on Western Civilisation in every country in Europe and in the Americas. It was part of a global war on civilisation everywhere.
Labour-run Haringey Council wants to close down Haringey’s pubs and restaurants. What else are they trying to do with £2,500 fines? No other conclusion is possible. This is what they want to do. It’s not going to be an “unintended consequence”. It’s going to be a deliberate, fully intended consequence. And when they’ve closed down Haringey’s pubs, they’ll then start closing down every other shop that sells anything remotely English as well – like meat, bread, clothes, shoes, furniture. For if they are to eradicate British culture, that is what they must do.
I was suggesting a few days ago that the UK Conservative government was tiptoeing away from the war on smokers that the Labour party had launched on them in 2007. I think today’s news is more evidence of it: the Government has rejected the plans and condemned “Labour’s municipal killjoys” for making the proposal.
If, as some people think, the government will stop at nothing to reduce smoking, it would have welcomed these proposals as another much-needed step towards a healthy, smoke-free utopia. But they didn’t. Instead they called their advocates “killjoys” – which is what I’ve quite often called them, and what they actually are.
Is it at all likely that Marcus Jones, Minister for Local Government, was actually speaking purely for himself, and not for the UK governement? Has he been contradicted by Jeremy Hunt in the Department of Health, or by Theresa May? I can’t find any reports of it. The latest piece of news today is that Jeremy Hunt has…
“…launched an investigation into Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.”
Nothing about Haringey there.
There can be no doubt that some people in the UK government would like to ban smoking outside pubs as well as inside. But there can equally be no doubt that there are some people in government who don’t want any such thing. Governments aren’t monolithic organisations made up of people who all think and speak in the exact same way. They are made up of lots of individual people with all sorts of different ideas and beliefs and hopes. They are, in short, made up of ordinary people.