Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 12:33 UK

Darling 'banned' from town's pubs

Alistair Darling
Landlords will write to Mr Darling informing him of the ban

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been barred from every pub in a Cumbrian town after putting the cost of a pint up in his latest budget.

Landlord members of the Kendal Bar Watch scheme voted unanimously to ban Alistair Darling despite the fact he has never been spotted in the town.

They have accused him of "threatening and anti-social behaviour" for putting up the price of drink.

They will now write to Mr Darling informing him of their decision.

They will also ask him to send a photograph of himself so security staff will know what he looks like.

A spokesman for HM Treasury said the money raised from increased tax on alcohol would be used to help tackle poverty.

We believe he and the government have created a threat to public houses
Paul Little
George and Dragon pub

Paul Little, of the George and Dragon pub, is a member of the Kendal Bar Watch scheme, which has 40 members. He said: "If he turns up he won't be welcome, definitely not.

"The bar watch is a very serious tool that the landlords can use to keep out the undesirables and keep staff safe.

"But if someone threatens myself, staff or business then we take that seriously and we feel Alistair Darling is threatening business.

"We believe he and the government have created a threat to public houses. This is not a joke and we take it very seriously."

Cumbria Police said that landlords were within their rights to ask people to leave their premises and they would attend if requested "to calm a situation down."

Via blogs

Last month an Edinburgh bar was credited with inspiring an internet campaign aimed at barring the chancellor from every pub in Britain.

Drinkers at the Utopia bar in Easter Road were angered when the MP for Edinburgh South West increased duty on a pint of beer by 4p and raised spirits duty by 55p a bottle.

They spread their message via blogs and a Facebook group.

A spokesman for HM Treasury said: "The rise in duty was to pay for measures that will help lift children out of poverty and reduce fuel poverty.

"These are the government's two key aims - alcohol has become a lot less affordable that it was 10 years ago."

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