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Wetherspoon boss Martin orders review after Travellers race ruling

By Chris Green

The Northern Irish chairman of one of the UK's largest pub chains has ordered a review of his company's operations after it was found guilty of racial discrimination against Travellers.

JD Wetherspoon was ordered to pay £24,000 in damages after a judge ruled that staff at The Coronet pub in north London acted illegally when they denied entry to a group attending a conference organised by the Traveller Movement charity in November 2011.

Central London County Court heard that David Leach, the then manager of the pub who has since died, had specifically hired security staff to prevent "Travellers or people from the Traveller conference to enter".

Judge John Hand said Mr Leach's policy was "irrational" and his thinking was "suffused with the stereotypical assumption that Irish Travellers and English Gypsies cause disorder wherever they go".

Tim Martin, the Campbell College-educated chairman of JD Wetherspoon, said: "It is the first time that a claim of this nature has been brought against the company. In light of the judgment we will undertake a full review of our relevant policies, procedures and training."

He added that JD Wetherspoon had apologised to the eight people denied entry to The Coronet.

Belfast Telegraph


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