The recently re-opened Fabric nightclub was a “poor example” for Mayor Sadiq Khan to cite in his campaign to protect London’s night time economy according to one of City Hall’s most senior Labour politicians.
Islington Council’s licensing committee closed the club after the Metropolitan Police raised concerns about the easy availability of drugs on the premises following the drug-related deaths of two teenagers.
Speaking after the Council voted to revoke the club’s licence, Mr Khan said: “As a result of this decision, thousands of people who enjoyed going to Fabric as an essential part of London’s nightlife will lose out. The issues faced by Fabric point to a wider problem of how we protect London’s night-time economy, while ensuring it is safe and enjoyable for everyone.
“Over the past eight years, London has lost 50 percent of its nightclubs and 40 percent of its live music venues. This decline must stop if London is to retain its status as a 24-hour city with a world-class nightlife.”
Islington’s decision was later reversed after the venue’s owners agreed to tough new conditions, a move hailed by the Mayor who had made a series of public interventions calling on Fabric, the police and council to reach a deal which would allow the venue to re-open.
Following the later decision, Mr Khan he was “delighted” the club would reopen.
In a statement he added: “I have always said that we needed to find a common-sense solution that protects both the future of Fabric and the safety of all clubbers – as this does. I especially want to thank Islington Council for working so hard to come to this solution.”
A number of City Hall politicians privately expressed dismay at the Mayor’s apparent failure to back the police’s warnings and the safety of club goers and raised concern that he risked giving the impression that the authorities should not uphold the rules.
Today Len Duvall, the Labour leader on the London Assembly, said the club had been a “poor example” for the Mayor to highlight in his “important” campaign to safeguard the capital’s night life.
Speaking at a meeting of the Assembly’s police and crime committee, he warned that Mr Khan risked giving the impression that he was “a soft touch” who would side with “dodgy” licensees trying to evade their responsibility to provide a safe environment for patrons.