PM orders rethink of pub opening hours to allow England fans to see 11pm Italy clash

By David Hughes, Press Association

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David Cameron has overruled the Home Office and ordered a rethink to ensure that pubs can be open for England's World Cup fixture against Italy.

The Prime Minister stepped in after pubs were refused permission to extend opening hours for the opening clash on Saturday, June 14, which kicks off at 11pm.

A source said: 'We'll now consult with the pub industry, police and councils on the best way to make sure pubs can be open for the Italy game at 11pm.'

Come on England! Fans must wait to see if they will be able to watch their side take on Italy in Brazil

Come on England! Fans must wait to see if they will be able to watch their side take on Italy in Brazil

Locked out? England fans may yet be able to watch their side take on Italy in the World Cup this summer

Locked out? England fans may yet be able to watch their side take on Italy in the World Cup this summer

The Home Office had refused a request from the British Beer and Pub Association asking for an extension of licensing times across the country.

In a message on Twitter, Mr Cameron said: 'I have ordered a rethink on pub opening times for England's World Cup games - will consult with pub trade, police and councils.'

The pub industry asked the Home Office to delay closing time from 11pm on June 14 to 1am on June 15 across the country to give fans time to watch the game.

But Home Office minister Norman Baker turned down the proposal, leaving pubs with the option of applying individually to local authorities for a licence extension - at a cost of £21 each.

The BBPA, which represents England's 49,400 pubs, believes the extended opening times could be worth an additional £20million to the industry in drink and food sales.

Taking a stand: Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped in to order a rethink over pub opening times

Taking a stand: Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped in to order a rethink over pub opening times

Ministers have the power to relax the rules to mark an occasion of 'exceptional international, national or local significance', as was done for the Royal Wedding and Diamond Jubilee.

England's remaining two group-stage games will be played at more convenient times for pubs, with the June 19 clash with Uruguay scheduled for 8pm UK time and the potentially decisive match against Costa Rica at 5pm on June 24.

If Roy Hodgson's team make it past the group stage, all the remaining fixtures they could be involved in will kick off at 9pm UK time, apart from the final, which will be played at 8pm on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: 'This would make for the most fantastic news for thousands of publicans and millions of football fans. I am delighted that the Prime Minister has intervened to back Britain's pubs and make clear that England's World Cup campaign is a time for celebration.

'This commonsense decision would remove a great deal of bureaucracy for pubs and local councils - and makes clear that the best place to enjoy the England team's journey is in your local pub.
"We are absolutely thrilled that our efforts have made a real difference for football fans and pubs.'

 


The comments below have not been moderated.

Opening game on a Sat night at 11pm! Baton down the hatches it is going to be carnage!

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Give your hooligans more time to drink yep that makes sense

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You not there again??? be quiet!

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You will be responsible for any violence that takes place after we lose unfairly to Italy if you allow that Mr Cameron. Rules are rules and they were made for a reason. Why do you close pubs on Christmas Day? Not everybody is a Christian.

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Drinking is bad for health. - James, Miami, 03/02/2014 16:49 It's been bad for my liver after 3 days drinking after comprehensively stuffing the Geordies in the derby on Saturday. My liver hurts, my skin is going a bit yellow, but do I care? Lighten up Jimmy, you've got a long time dead to be sensible!!

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If you vote UKIP, they will guarantee England win the next World Cup and solve world peace & hunger.

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Thought pubs could stay open 24 hrs now?

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IF!, it's only two letters.

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It's only for three games anyway. England would be home by the 4th.

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Whilst it must be nice for a local village pub to stay open longer there will be many pubs across the country where drunks will wreak havoc. Win or lose against Italy!

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Can't stand Cameron, but give the pubs a break they are already dying of death and need a well needed boost- just as long as I have that night off!!

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