Rita Ora’s illegal birthday party was ‘most notorious and egregious’ lockdown breach yet, police say

Rita Ora

Rita Ora’s 30th birthday celebration in a west London restaurant was “the most notorious” and “one of the most egregious” lockdown breaches yet, police have declared.

The pop star was roundly condemned for holding a 30-person party at the Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill in November, knowingly violating coronavirus restrictions during the second national lockdown.

She has since apologised and taken “full responsibility” for the “inexcusable error of judgement”, but police aren’t willing to let it slide.

On Thursday (28 January) the Metropolitan Police urged Kensington and Chelsea Council to revoke the licence of the restaurant where the party was held.

“The incident on the night was one of the most egregious, and certainly the most notorious, breaches of the regulations committed on licensed premises,” police lawyer Charles Holland told the licensing sub-committee, as reported by the Evening Standard.

He said Rita Ora had “selfishly wished to flout the lockdown” by seeking to pay for access to the restaurant, as it emerged she offered the manager of Casa Cruz restaurant £5,000 to host her party.

Holland said authorities need to send a “strong and clear message to the hospitality trade and to the wider public” about rule breaches of this kind.

PC Ian Davis of the Met Police also urged the committee to revoke the restaurant’s licence. “These are unprecedented times, with the continued loss of life, sickness, various sacrifices and economic hardship that this country is facing,” he said.

“A clear message to the hospitality industry in their vicarious responsibilities needs to be met in relation to premises who risk operating during these national lockdowns to deter and discourage the public from organising such events as no-one is above the law and all will be held accountable.”

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time Rita Ora has skirted a scandal. She previously had to apologise for her “downright tone deaf” anthem Girls after it was slammed by several queer musicians.

Hayley Kiyoko said the song “completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community,” while Kehlani described the track as “harmful” with lyrics that “weren’t progressive”.

Defending her song, Ora appeared to come out as bisexual. “Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life,” she wrote on Twitter.

“I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”