- Lutfur Rahman - Mayor of Tower Hamlets
- United Kingdom
Tower Hamlets is to undertake a review of all venues classed as sex establishments with a view to removing their licences with the aim of stopping the possible exploitation of women.
BJ's White Swan is the Borough's main Gay venue and has traded for over 26 years without a complaint. It has run a comedy amateur strip night for almost as long as it has been open. This is a night for Gay men only; all the contestants are male and enter on an entirely voluntary basis. The night is hosted by a selection of well known drag artists. It is known internationally and has been featured on national TV. No one is exploited by this night.
The venue you should not be classed as a sex establishment and should not form part of this review.
The White Swan, Commercial Road, E1 caters for the Gay community. It has been under the same management for twenty six years. There is no prostitution or exploitation on the premises and there has never been any complaint about the White Swan by residents, police or the licensing authorities.
We are therefore surprised and shocked that a venue which has an international reputation, is being targeted for review by the Council as a so called “sex” establishment.
We call on the Council to prove its commitment to equality and exclude the White Swan from this discriminatory policy.