The pub reputed to have the oldest interior in Britain has refused to serve UKIP leader Nigel Farage a pint of beer. The Crown Bar in Belfast, refused a photo call for the UKIP leader when he visited Northern Ireland this week, according to BreakingNews.
Farage was instead forced to do the photo call in the Europa Hotel across the road, which is also a notable venue as it has been blown up more times than any other hotel in Europe, although in recent years it has been spared due to the Northern Ireland peace process.
Had Farage been allowed inside the Crown, he would have found it to his taste, being so traditionally British that it is almost unrecognisable to most modern customers.
Patrons are invited to sit in individual booths, with doors and stained glass windows for privacy. It also features solid brass ‘spittoons’ from the days when chewing tobacco was popular, and rough surfaces to strike matches on the walls.
It is considered one of the finest examples of a Victorian gin palace, having undergone a major refurbishment in 1885. Subsequent work on the pub has made no alterations to the interior, so it looks exactly as it would have done 130 years ago.
UKIP were in Northern Ireland in the hope of hoovering up votes from both communities. “We have approached politics in Northern Ireland as a non-sectarian political party we absolutely welcome Catholics as members and activists,” he said.
He went on to talk about how immigrants were driving wages down from workers. He said: “Britain is becoming the cheap labour economy and I don’t think that is really socially a very desirable place for us to be.
“When I see large taxi companies who now employ gangs of effectively cheap labour and I see the same happening with the agri-businesses, there are two things happening: one is a degree of job displacement.
“What is happening for certain is wage compression on a very large scale.”
According to the Office for National Statistics a total of 140,000 Romanians and Bulgarians were employed in the UK between January and March. Before this time there entry into the UK had been restricted.
This represented an increase of 28,000 from the same period last year.
Nigel Farage should not necessarily be too offended by being refused service in the Crown. City Centre businesses in Belfast can be sensitive about appearing political. Historically being seen to support either the Irish Republic or the UK could lead to boycotts or terrorist attacks. Even if that support is something as mundane as allowing the leader of a British political party to drink in your pub.