Channel 4 FactCheck goes behind the spin to dig out the truth and separate political fact from fiction.

January 27, 2015 7 Comments By Patrick Worrall

The claim

factfiction108 FactCheck: are Muslims killing the great British pub?“In my constituency, lots of pubs have closed, but it is usually because of demographic change.”
Stephen Williams, 26 January 2015

The background

A government minister has become the latest parliamentarian to cause controversy by suggesting that the decline of the British pub is connected to immigration.

Stephen Williams, who is the Lib Dem MP for Bristol West and Minister for Communities, told the House of Commons: “In my constituency, lots of pubs have closed, but it is usually because of demographic change.

“Some parts of my constituency, which had a white working-class community 20 or 30 years ago, are now populated primarily by recently arrived Somalis and other people. Obviously the pubs in those areas have closed, and some have been converted to other uses, but some of them are still derelict.”

His words come after the Conservative peer Lord Hodgson told the Lords last month: “In areas of Nottingham, Leicester, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham the increase in the Muslim population who don’t drink leads to many pub closures.”

Is there a connection between an increasing Muslim population and pub closures? (more…)

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