Byline: ROSS LYDALL;JIM ARMITAGE
CENTRAL London pubs have been given the go-ahead to start serving alcohol from 10am.
Magistrates have approved an application by pub chain J D Wetherspoon in the south Westminster and City areas. The ruling also allows all other pubs within these licensing districts to start serving earlier as well.
Magistrates will decide next Tuesday whether to relax the rules in north Westminster.
A spokesman for J D Wetherspoon said: "We are delighted with the decision.
We think there is a demand from people who fancy something alcoholic at 10am.
The old laws were introduced around the time of the First World War and we think it's about time they changed. We are a responsible pub operator and there will be no problems in our pubs."
The company's chief executive, Tim Martin, denied the only people thirsting for lager at that time would be alcoholics and undesirables. He said: "An amazing number of people in the capital do shiftwork and fancy a pint at the end of their day. Also, a lot of pensioners are in our pubs early - usually husbands having a pint while the missus is shopping. …