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MP calls for World Cup licensing debate

Andrew Griffiths, the MP for Burton and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on beer, has asked the House of Commons to debate pub licensing hours during next year’s World Cup.

Andrew Griffiths MP

The Conservative MP said that licensing hours must be extended to allow football fans to have a pint while watching the World Cup, which is taking place in Brazil.

Speaking at the weekly Commons business statement, he said: “Football fans across England are looking forward to cheering on Roy’s boys in Brazil next year.

“There is no better way to do that than enjoying a pint in your local pub – yet because of Britain’s licensing laws and because of the time delay, many people will be unable to watch the football and enjoy a pint at the same time.

“Could we have a debate on UK licensing laws and exemptions to give some cheer to English football fans and some money in the pockets of Britain’s publicans?”

Commons leader Andrew Lansley replied: “You raise an important point and fortunately in good time for this to be considered before the World Cup.

“I will raise that with the Home Office because there have, I know, been occasions when it has been thought appropriate to have some exceptions to licensing arrangements at the point at which some of these sporting occasions are taking place.”

World Cup group games are scheduled to kick off at 5pm, 8pm and 11pm UK time.

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