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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 10:57 GMT
Lords revolt against Licensing Bill
Irish pub
Musicians fear live music will be killed off
The Licensing Bill has once again been defeated in the House of Lords as peers voted to exempt small venues from requiring entertainment licences.

Backed by the Musicians' Union, the Lords defeated the part of the bill which would mean all premises would need a licence for live music.

The amendment means venues with a capacity below 250 would not need a licence as long as the entertainment was over by 2330.

The bill was defeated by 150 to 120, with Liberal Democrat and Conservative peers voting against it.

They have voted for eight-year-olds to watch the unexpurgated Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Government spokesman
The bill paves the way for 24-hour drinking in the UK but the government is concerned with preventing anti-social behaviour.

But musicians fear that forcing small venues such as pubs and social clubs to apply for entertainment licences would kill off live music.

The amendment was put forward by Conservative Baroness Buscombe who said the government had agreed to a "concession" to save live music.

Government spokesman Lord McIntosh of Haringey agreed a concession had been made on incidental live music but that the amendment was too wide-ranging.

'Undesirable'

He said: "What this amendment would do is to exempt huge swathes of entertainment from all licensing, really nearly all public entertainment."

A government spokesman added: "They have voted for eight-year-olds to watch the unexpurgated Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

"They have voted to remove the rights of the police to step in if an undesirable person tries to lure in children by starting up a disco.

"This is a disaster for kids and will do nothing for live music."

But although the Lords has inflicted another defeat on the Licensing Bill it still has a long way to go as it has yet to be discussed by MPs.

Culture minister Baroness Blackstone said: "We have been given a very good run for our money. Labour MPs will not accept all the amendments that have been made in this House."




SEE ALSO:
Union joins music law debate
05 Mar 03 |  Entertainment
Ministers defeated on pub rules
04 Mar 03 |  Politics
Nativity plays prompt Lords defeat
24 Feb 03 |  Politics
Musicians make silent protest
27 Jan 03 |  Entertainment
Minister defends music licence bill
23 Jan 03 |  Entertainment
Pub music scene 'under threat'
12 Nov 02 |  Entertainment


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