UK

Will Pubs Stay Open Longer During The World Cup? Cameron Signals A Change To Ban

03/02/2014 14:31 GMT | Updated 03/02/2014 14:59 GMT

David Cameron has overruled the Home Office and ordered a rethink to ensure that pubs can be open for England's World Cup fixture against Italy.

The Prime Minister stepped in after pubs were refused permission to extend opening hours for the clash on June 14, which kicks off at 11pm.

A source said: "We'll now consult with the pub industry, police and councils on best way to make sure pubs can be open for the Italy game at 11pm."

cameron pub

David Cameron finishes a pint in the Bristol pub The Three Sugar Loaves

The Home Office had refused a request from the British Beer and Pub Association asking for an extension of licensing times across the country.

In a message on Twitter, Cameron said:

The pub industry asked the Home Office to delay closing time from 11pm on June 14 to 1am on June 15 across the country to give fans time to watch the game.

But Home Office minister Norman Baker turned down the proposal, leaving pubs with the option of applying individually to local authorities for a licence extension - at a cost of £21 each.

The BBPA, which represents England's 49,400 pubs, believes the extended opening times could be worth an additional £20 million to the industry in drink and food sales.

Ministers have the power to relax the rules to mark an occasion of "exceptional international, national or local significance", as was done for the Royal Wedding and Diamond Jubilee.

England's remaining two group-stage games will be played at more convenient times for pubs, with the June 19 clash with Uruguay scheduled for 8pm UK time and the potentially decisive match against Costa Rica at 5pm on June 24.

If Roy Hodgson's team make it past the group stage, all the remaining fixtures they could be involved in will kick off at 9pm UK time, apart from the final, which will be played at 8pm on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.