Camden Council bans republican street party

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A London council has defended its decision not to allow a republican-themed party in a street in the West End on the day of the royal wedding.

The anti-monarchy group Republic has been denied permission to close Earlham Street in Covent Garden on 29 April.

Camden Council said it rejected the application after businesses raised concerns about loss of trade, but had suggested alternative sites.

Republic said it may take legal action over the "politically-motivated ban".

The refusal comes a day after Prime Minister David Cameron urged people to hold street parties to celebrate the royal wedding - and warned councils "not to interfere" with festivities by citing unnecessary conditions.

Republic's executive officer Graham Smith said of the council's decision: "This is a disgraceful attack on the rights of republicans to make their voice heard and to hold a fun and peaceful event.

"Camden Council is allowing a few vocal residents and businesses to veto any event in central London they do not support.

"We can only assume this is a politically-motivated ban and we will challenge it all the way."

'Public safety' concerns

The council said it had approved a temporary event notice but Republic was advised it would need to apply for a road closure before the event could proceed.

However the council said it had received objections to the planned road closure from Camden residents and organisations representing more than 140 businesses.

"These groups strongly opposed the event as they felt it would negatively impact on their sales, and they also raised a number of public safety concerns as to how the event would be managed," a council statement said.

A spokesman added that the council had provided Republic with suggestions for alternative sites for the party.

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