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Sadiq Khan responds to calls to ensure Fabric reopens

By | Published on Wednesday 31 August 2016

Fabric

London mayor Sadiq Khan has responded to calls for him to act in order to protect club venue Fabric from permanent closure. Though he doesn’t go much further than his previous tweet on the matter “urging” all involved to sort it out, noting that he doesn’t have the authority to force the police or local council to let the club stay open.

As previously reported, Fabric has been closed since earlier this month, due to a police investigation into two recent drug-related deaths. The venue is now awaiting a new licence review by Islington Council, which will decide whether or not it can reopen. Owners of the club have pushed their commitment to preventing drug use on the premises, and said that they are reviewing policies. Meanwhile, the venue last week launched the #SaveFabric campaign, and a petition in support of the club began collecting signatures.

Khan has been a particular focus for campaigning because, before being elected as the capital’s mayor in May, he spoke about his commitment to London’s night time economy. So far he’s lived up to that by overseeing the opening of the long-in-development Night Tube and advertising for a Night Czar. But the situation with Fabric is seen by many as the first real test for him in this area.

Responding to the #Save Fabric petition, which has now gained almost 100,000 signatures, Khan spoke about improving safety as a collaborative effort, and linked to a recent Islington Gazette article on a police report about drugs within Fabric. In it a police officer claims that on a visit to the venue as many as 80% of people inside “appeared to be under the influence of drugs”, and that the venue provides “a safe haven for the supply and consumption of illegal drugs”.

“I am committed to using the influence of my office to overcome the numerous challenges facing the night time economy”, writes Khan. “However, it is important to note that City Hall does not have the power to intervene in licensing cases like the current situation with Fabric”.

He continues: “Clubbing needs to be safe. There have been two tragic deaths at Fabric over recent months and there are clearly issues that need addressing. Fabric, the Metropolitan Police and Islington will of course have to take real action to protect the safety of everyone who enjoys a night out at the club”.

“My team have spoken to all involved in the current situation and I am urging them to find a common sense solution that ensures the club remains open while protecting the safety of those who want to enjoy London’s clubbing scene”, he concludes. “I welcome your call for us all to work together – City Hall, London’s music venues, local authorities, the police and others – to make our clubs safer while also protecting our night time economy”.

Read Khan’s response in full here.



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