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Sadiq Khan seeks Night Czar, as Fabric remains closed

By | Published on Wednesday 24 August 2016


Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan is advertising for a Night Czar, to oversee the capital’s night time economy. The title will get you £35,000 a year for two and a half days’ work a week. That’s two and a half days. You won’t even have to work nights.

A job ad posted on the London Assembly website states: “Working with the Mayor, the Night Time Commission, local authorities, businesses, the Metropolitan Police Service, Transport For London and other agencies, the Night Czar will create a vision for London as 24 hour city and a roadmap showing how the vision will be realised”.

Khan, of course, made big claims about his commitment to London’s night time economy before he was elected mayor, aiming to go beyond Boris Johnson’s tokenistic task force and occasional report commissioning. And last week he said that he was “urging” Fabric, the police and Islington Council to come to an agreement that would keep the club open.

Because, yes, London night time economy bastion Fabric has been closed for two weeks now, following an investigation into two recent drug-related deaths at the venue. It is now awaiting a licence review by Islington Council, and has confirmed that it will be closed for a third weekend over the lucrative August bank holiday period.

Yesterday, the club put out a longer statement addressing the recent deaths at the venue while also reaffirming the steps it takes to prevent drug use.

“We recognise that illegal drugs are a particular issue in the clubbing sphere which many venues like ours have challenges in addressing”, the statement says, after offering condolences to the families of those who died. “We have zero tolerance to drugs on the premises and, as recently as December last year, we were described by district judge Allison in a court judgement as a ‘beacon of best practice’ in managing this issue”.

It continues: “We know there are always areas where we can improve, and, following the recent tragic deaths, we are undertaking a thorough review of the lessons we can learn. As part of this we are independently reviewing all of our procedures to ensure that we have the best possible processes in place to keep our customers safe”.

Referencing Khan’s support, it adds: “As acknowledged by the Mayor of London, clubs are a central part of the night time economy and London’s music and creative industry and they are in real danger of extinction. We hope to work constructively with the police and the London Borough Of Islington to ensure that, in providing the safest possible environment for music-lovers, we continue to operate after nearly two decades as a leading part of the London club scene”.

The exact date of the review of Fabric’s licence remains unclear, though Islington Council did commit to complete it within 28 days. The council has offered no statement itself so far, though did welcome the launch of the night tube last week.