Parliament’s Sports & Social boozer is threatened with closure after two members of House of Commons staff had a punch up leaving one man believed to be the Speaker’s Counsel hospitalised.
It’s understood that the Speaker’s Counsel, a regular in the bar, had intervened when a contractor confronted the bar maid on duty after bringing more guests into the bar than House of Commons rules permit. An altercation followed in which the staffer was hospitalised.
House authorities have now ordered the bar closed and with no date set for it to reopen.
The Sports & Social is a bar reserved for the use of the staff of MPs and staff who work directly for the House of Commons. MPs are not banned from drinking in the bar, but it is unusual for them to do so as most drink in the Strangers’ Bar.
The ongoing Westminster sexual harassment crisis has led some to call for the Sports & Social to be closed to staff or shut down completely, with a former bar manager going public in The Sun about harassment she faced during her time there.
The bar is extremely popular with MPs’ staff who have been angered by suggestions that it should be closed, saying that it should instead institute a formal ban of MPs and other senior officials.
House authorities announced in November that the bar will now be managed in-house pending a further review of access and opening hours. This latest incident will now raise further questions about the bar’s future.