Monday, June 07, 2010

Reply from Giles Thorley, CEO of Punch Taverns, re #Greencoatboy

This just popped into my inbox.

Pretty much word for word the same as the statement on their website, but you have to give them credit for trying. Pretty much word for word, but not exactly - for example the e-mail doesn't mention the deputy manager at all.

Mistakes happen in every company, unacceptable mistakes - and what happened on Saturday night was completely avoidable. There are no excuses. Punch Taverns have recognised that and at least they are trying to make amends. Certainly choice was not part of the equation. Here's the e-mail:

Dear Ms Lindsay

Thank you for your email regarding the incident at the Greencoat Boy on Saturday night.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that Punch Taverns seeks to provide open and welcoming venues to everyone. We are shocked and saddened that the Labour LGBT did not experience this at The Greencoat Boy and have apologised unreservedly.

Across our estate, diversity and inclusion are a core part of our ethics and are clearly referenced in our recruitment process, our equal opportunities policy and training. We would like to stress that this is an isolated incident; we have a strong track record on equal opportunities and do not tolerate homophobia in our pubs, whether from guests to other guests, or involving our employees.

We are currently conducting a full investigation of the incident and are cooperating with the police. We have also arranged to meet with members of the LGBT Labour group this week to discuss how we can work together to further improve our policies and procedures.

In addition, we have contacted all of our general managers and pub teams to remind them of our equal opportunity policy and our no tolerance approach to discrimination. We will also seek to work with external partners to further enhance our training to ensure that inclusion remains at the heart of it.

Please be assured that we take this incident seriously and we remain committed to ensuring that all of our guests are welcome at our pubs.


Giles Thorley


Let's hope that this incident is entirely isolated. The outraged Twitterstorm has shown how effectively and quickly information can be spread across the internet and how people can be engaged and united on a particular cause. Commercial organisations should take note.

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