Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lap Dancing Campaigner Challenged to Visit Club

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lap Dancing Campaigner Challenged to Visit Club

Article excerpt

A NORTH MP who is campaigning for lap dancing clubs to be re-classified as sex establishments is unlikely to accept an offer to visit one in the interests of research.

Following pressure from Durham's Labour MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, the Government wrote to every local authority to find out whether council chiefs believe existing legislation has left them powerless to block applications for lap dancing clubs.

But a call by one of her parliamentary colleagues for MPs to visit such an establishment received short-shrift from Dr Blackman-Woods, who won cheers in the Commons earlier this year as she presented her own bill to try to plug a loophole in the law. The Labour MP has attacked 2003 legislation that allows lap dancing clubs to be licensed as part of the entertainment industry.

Instead, Dr Blackman-Woods wants such clubs reclassified in law as "sex encounter establishments" - making them easier for town halls to block.

Conservative MP Philip Davies, member for Shipley, West Yorkshire, who sits on the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which will hear evidence as part of an inquiry into the licensing question, said MPs should visit a lap dancing club to see for themselves what goes on. …

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