02/12/2013 07:44 GMT | Updated 02/12/2013 07:47 GMT

Gay Hussar 'Goulash Co-operative' Formed By Tom Watson And Neil Kinnock To Save London Restaurant

A 'Goulash Co-operative' has been formed to save London's Gay Hussar restaurant.

A group of politicians, journalists, lawyers have vowed to save the celebrated Hungarian eaterie in Soho which is due to be sold this week.

They are supporting the planned bid by the newly constituted Goulash Co-operative Ltd to keep the restaurant open.

gay hussar

The Gay Hussar

The Gay Hussar has been the haunt of politicians and journalists for decades and the consortium includes Lord Kinnock, the former Labour leader, and Lord Ashcroft, former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

One of the co-operative's directors, journalist and former Daily Mirror political editor Julia Langdon, said: "In the short period since we launched the Goulash Co-operative, we have been taken aback both by the interest in our venture but also by the very obvious loyalty and affection for the Gay Hussar restaurant. We, the staff and the restaurant's diners all believe the Gay Hussar has a great future ahead of it."

Other prominent supporters and backers include former Tory leadership challenger David Davis, Labour MP John Cryer and Neil and Christine Hamilton.

Honorary president of the Goulash Co-operative is Labour MP Tom Watson. The directors include John Goodman, who has spent his life working in the co-operative movement, former national newspaper editor Bill Hagerty, cartoonist Martin Rowson, trades unionist and journalist Chris Kaufman and journalist and author Mark Seddon.

It is due to be sold by Corus Hotels on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Co-operative said shares are available to interested members of the public who wish to support the venture and to own a small part of Soho.

"The Gay Hussar is the only Hungarian restaurant in London, and for over 60 years has played host to many of the leading political and journalistic figures of that time."

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