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Croydon pub barman refused to serve 'disgusting' elderly Ukip supporters

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A PUB company has apologised after one of its staff refused to serve a group of campaigning Ukip pensioners and told them they were "disgusting".

Stonegate Pubs has also offered the campaigners a free meal to make up for their treatment at the Rectory, in Brighton Road, Purley, two days before last month's local and European elections.

Kathleen Garner, the party's Croham candidate, had branded the treatment "discriminatory" and compared it to the "thought police".

She and four others had been campaigning with the party's Purley candidate, Georgina Guillam, in Purley piazza opposite the pub when they decided to call it quits and have a drink.

The group, five aged over-65 and one man in his 30s, took off their rosettes and packed their stuff away before going inside, Mrs Garner told the Advertiser.

She continued: "[Georgina] walked up to the bar to get some drinks and he just said, 'You are Ukip, you are disgusting', and refused to serve her.

"I could not believe it and went up to the bar and he said to me again 'you are disgusting'.

"We were not proselytising; as far as we were concerned that was our private belief. We had not gone in there to try and persuade people to join Ukip.

"It is the thought police and even if it is legal, it is certainly not an acceptable way to behave.

"You should certainly not be able to discriminate against people on grounds of their politics.

"The way you think is the way you think and life is going to become very unpleasant if people are going to discriminate against you for that.

"And it is not even how you think – but the way others think you think."

The group of campaigners decamped to the Jolly Farmers pub further up the road, where, Mrs Garner said, staff were "quite happy to take our custom".

She complained to Stonegate Pubs, which last week offered an apology and a free meal at another of its venues. She has been told the staff member has also been disciplined.

The incident came after a radio interview in which Nigel Farage was widely deemed to have performed disastrously, and feelings about Ukip were running high.

Mrs Garner added: "No matter what your reason is, you don't call someone disgusting; you just say; 'I am sorry, I am acting within my rights'. He was quite unpleasant about it."

A Stonegate spokesman said an investigation had taken place and added: "We would like to make clear the company has no affiliations to any political party."

Ms Guillem polled 552 votes in the elections, coming third after the Conservatives and Labour.

Croydon pub barman refused to serve 'disgusting' elderly Ukip supporters


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