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What Lies Behind Licensing Reviews in London?

12/04/2022

Katy Dollar writing in the left wing paper Solidarity, which is published by the Marxist group Alliance for Workers Liberty, says that apparent anti-LGBTQIA prejudice seems to be motivating the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as they threaten queer sex positive clubs in the district Klub Verboten and Crossbreed. Klub Verboten released a statement on Instagram: “In this day and age, the council are seeking to dictate to informed, self-regulating adults what they can and, crucially, what they can’t wear?” They challenged the council, asking: “Is the sight of an ankle, bare shoulders, buttocks, cleavage and bare chests a matter of legitimate public interest?” The Solidarity paper notes Since the mid-2000s there has been a marked decline in the number of LGBTQ+ venues in London, often driven by rising rents due to gentrification and property speculation. Now more spaces are under threat as councils use moralistic anti-sex licencing clauses. Klub Vertboten point out that the Boudoir Club, a swingers’ club in Tower Hamlets aimed at a straighter crowd, has not faced the same issues. 

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