Councillor Pancho Lewis
Councillor Pancho Lewis

Following an intervention by Soho Councillor Pancho Lewis, Westminster City Council has agreed to lend its weight to the campaign to save the Coach & Horses pub (see

The Coach & Horses is one of the few remaining independent pubs in Soho. It is run by landlord Alastair Choat and his daughter, Hollie, who have been running a campaign to stop Fuller’s from taking over management of the pub at the end of June. The campaign has received nationwide attention – the Evening Standard, LBC, and other media outlets have covered it.

The pub is renowned in Soho and across London for its colourful history. The infamous Norman Balon, once described as London’s “rudest pub landlord” was at the helm of the Coach & Horses for many years. It is also famous for being a favourite haunt for Soho personalities including Spectator columnist Jeffery Bernard and Private Eye magazine journalists.

To date the CEO and other senior employees at Fuller’s have refused to meet with the Soho community, despite repeated requests from Soho residents and the community more broadly.

On Wednesday 1 May at a Westminster City Council meeting, Councillor David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills, agreed to write to Fuller’s requesting them to engage with the Soho community about why it should remain independent, following a request by Councillor Pancho Lewis. He also agreed to personally support the campaign after Councillor Lewis asked him to sign the Save the Coach & Horses petition.

You can sign the petition here:

Councillor Pancho Lewis said:

“It’s crucial that Fuller’s understand that Soho is special precisely because of its independent businesses. We don’t want more and more pubcos – especially given that that so few independent pubs remain alive today.

The entire Soho community is united in saying that we do not the Coach & Horses to be taken over by Fuller’s. We stand by Alastair and Holly in stressing that Fuller’s must back-down. It would be a disastrous move on their behalf if they were to insist they’ll take it over.”

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