Councillor barred from pub after 'drinking his own whisky'

By Peter Madeley | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Licensing committee member Councillor Paul Birch steps down after apparently being caught out at a Wolverhampton city centre pub.

Councillor Paul Birch, inset, was asked to leave the Lych Gate Tavern

A councillor was thrown out of a pub after apparently being caught drinking booze he had brought in from outside.

Wolverhampton councillor Paul Birch was a member of the city authority’s licensing panel when he was spotted drinking whisky in the Lych Gate Tavern, which staff noticed he had not ordered from the bar, landlady Hayley Hall said.

She said the Labour councillor admitted he had brought the alcohol in from elsewhere.

Ms Hall ordered him to leave the city centre pub as his actions had breached licensing regulations. He has now been banned.

She said his behaviour was “really disrespectful” and could have seen her lose her licence.

Dr Birch, the former boss of Revolver Records, has apologised unreservedly for his actions and quit the council’s Licensing Committee.

Ms Hall said: “What he did was absolutely appalling, and as a councillor he should have known better.

"He has been told he is not welcome here in future.”


The well-known Lych Gate Tavern near St Peter's Church

Dr Birch had visited the pub on Queen Square with his wife Councillor Olivia Birch, and two friends.

He bought a bottle of wine and two pints of beer at the bar, and asked for two extra glasses.

Landlord Dave Buck said he saw him and his mate drinking whisky out of them a short time later.


Ms Hall said: “It was explained to him that we could have got into serious trouble and that I could have lost my licence.

"He apologised and although we accepted his apology, what he did was so serious that we thought it was only right to ask him to finish his drinks and leave.”

Dr Birch said: “I’m sorry for my mistake. I unreservedly apologise for my actions.

"It’s appropriate therefore that I step down from the Licensing Committee.”

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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