This afternoon Conservative MP Brian Binley issued the following press release:
Brian Binley, MP for Northampton South, has tabled an Early Day Motion calling for a review of the smoking ban to stop the closure of so many pubs and clubs.
Over 2,000 pubs and clubs have gone to the wall in the last year and seven pubs a day are going out of business. They are under massive pressure to keep afloat and the smoking ban has further impacted on their plight.
When the bill was implemented on 1st July 2007 the Government said it would review the ban in three years' time, a review which now does not appear to be forthcoming.
Brian said: "Many pubs and clubs are finding it difficult dealing with the economic situation. The smoking ban has further impacted on many businesses and the trade is really struggling.
"I want to consider a balanced and proportionate amendment to the legislation which allows for segregated smoking rooms or areas within pubs, bars and clubs, provided that effective smoke extraction systems of an authorised standard are installed."
The EDM calls on the Government to conduct a thorough review, supported by consultation with all parties and affected business sectors on the impact the smoking ban has had on public houses and private members clubs.
Brian said: "I understand that the Government has no plans to review the smoking ban at the present time and that makes me angry. The then Health Minister promised that a review would be held three years after the implementation of the ban but the Government is now saying that it has no plans to do so. That denial is simply unacceptable.
"I have tabled this EDM to put pressure on the Government to look into the impact the ban is having on the pubs and clubs trade and to conduct an urgent review.
"The EDM also calls for any changes to the smoking ban legislation to be made on the basis of evidence, fairness and proportionality whilst recognising the importance of pubs and clubs to the nation's social life and community wellbeing."
I am delighted to report that Brian has also declared his support for the Save Our Pubs and Clubs: Amend The Smoking Ban campaign. More information to follow.
See also: Time to review the smoking ban, says MP (sent to 2,500 supporters of the Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign).
Excellent response on ConHome to the news of Brian Binley's EDM. I recognise a lot of Save Our Pubs and Clubs supporters and there is a long comment by musician (and Forest supporter) Joe Jackson who has offered 'Ten reasons why the smoking ban stinks'. Joe has agreed to let us publish it on The Free Society website in the morning. I'll link to it from here.