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In the study by Newton et al,1 the Licensing Act is described as “permitting 24-hour drinking”. While this is true, it belies the practical reality of gaining local authority permission for such hours. Across the country, a mere 200 pubs have been granted permission to open for 24 h and, as the Home Office will confirm, none do. The most relevant licensing authority to this particular study—Westminster City Council—which has the highest concentration of hospitality venues in the country, has adopted the most restrictive approach and granted virtually no additional hours to pubs and bars. It is therefore disappointing that no attempt appears to have been made to verify the assumption …
Competing interests: RH is Chief Executive of the Beer and Pub Association.