Soho pub closes to avoid gay kissing protest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The London pub accused of throwing out a gay couple for kissing has apparently closed for the day to avoid an 800-strong protest.

The John Snow, in Soho, ordered drinkers to leave at around 3pm and shut its doors.

Twitter user IncrediblyRich tweeted: “They’ve kicked out everyone drinking in there and are now turning away anyone who tries to get in.”

He added that a TV crew was “filming the locked door whilst bar staff peer from upstairs window”.

There have been suggestions that protesters will hold a ‘kiss-in’ street party outside instead. There is another protest planned for next Thursday.

More than 800 people pledged to attend the demonstration in support of the gay couple, who were kicked out on Wednesday evening.

Jonathan Williams, 26, and Jamie Bull, 23, were on a first date in the pub when a woman claiming to be the landlady allegedly ordered them to leave.

The couple say they were kicked out for quietly kissing in a corner and a witness backed up their claims. Jamie Morton said the kissing was “innocent”.

But the drinker who first complained about the couple claimed they were “over the top”.

Gary from Richmond, who did not give his surname, told BBC 5 Live: “I have gay friends and lesbian friends. They were asked by the barman to moderate their behaviour, which they didn’t do. It was more than a short kiss. It was a full on snog.”