Jeremy Joseph closes G-A-Y until further notice just hours after branding Boris Johnson a c**t in sweary rant
Heaven and G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph has announced that all of his clubs in London and Manchester will close until further notice.
The move comes after prime minister Boris Johnson advised people to avoid theatres, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic – but opted not to force venues to shut.
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, also in London, has insisted it will remain open until forced to shut.
Joseph tweeted: “@BorisJohnson Is Not A Leader No Clarity, No Shutdown But I’ve Decided I no longer feel comfortable being open, so G-A-Y will be closed until further notice.”
Heaven and G-A-Y to close indefinitely, Jeremy Joseph says.
Heaven confirmed on Facebook: “It is with a heavy heart, effective immediately, Heaven nightclub London will not be opening… due to the on going COVID-19 crisis and Boris Johnson’s announcement this evening.
“We will do our best to be responsive on social media about future events during this period, and welcome any ideas which can support our wider community.
“Take care of yourselves, look after each other – and see you at our next party soon.”
Hours beforehand, the club owner had hit out at Boris Johnson’s failure to provide any compensation for the entertainment industry while effectively forcing closures.
He said: “Boris Johnson, you are a c**t. Telling people to avoid pubs, restaurants and theatres but not closing them, in other words, unofficially closing venues but making sure government isn’t liable for staff to get sick pay.”
Other LGBT+ venues to close down include the Pleasuredrome sauna, which says it will remain closed “until further notice… in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our much-valued guests as well as the wonderful staff”.
Royal Vauxhall Tavern vows to stay open despite ‘devastating impact’ of coronavirus.
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However, some venues have insisted that they will remain open despite the government’s advice – arguing that they will be left out-of-pocket if they close voluntarily without a compensation scheme being put in place by the government.
James Lindsay of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern told PinkNews in a statement that he will “not voluntarily close the business unless we are strictly forced to do so by a competent authority”.
He said: “I appreciate the seriousness of the epidemic and the devastating impact it is having on people’s lives and the world, however the position yesterday will have a devastating and detrimental impact on business, business recovery and job stability.”
Lindsay added: “This is the position Royal Vauxhall Tavern will adopt, but we must stress, if you have an underlying medical condition then you need to stay at home.
“We understand our approach will not be shared by all and we respect this may be the case, we ask you to equally respect our position.
“Today because of the government’s position we are having to start to consider laying staff off. I have a duty of care to all my team, as well as all the LGBT+ performers, DJs and promoters who work with us and to keep them safe and keep people in employment.”