Sex scandal could see veterans lose their home pub

VETERANS face losing their treasured pub after it was rocked by a sex scandal.

Friday, 11th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:24 pm
Andy Lilly from the Park Tavern Picture: UKNIP

Manager Andy Lilly was filmed having sex on a pool table in the Park Tavern when the bar was shut.

The video recording has been widely shared on social media, with a source close to the pub saying the incident has led to the licence holder giving notice to quit.

Licensing officers at Portsmouth City Council met bosses from the Edinburgh Road pub at a meeting over the incident – but decided it was not a council issue.

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The pub will not be able to open if the licence holder quits before another is found.

It comes before Remembrance Day – when the pub is traditionally bursting with sailors from the Type 42 Association.

Bob Mullen, chairman of the association, said: ‘It would be a loss for the association.’

Regulars have praised Andy for his work in the pub.

‘Those poor guys that have served Queen and country and now the licence could be gone and the pub wouldn’t be able to open,’ a source close to the pub told The News.

‘That incident did happen, it’s been posted on social media and it’s been embarrassing for Andy.

‘He does feel really silly. He knows how badly he’s messed up.

‘He will try and make things right and repair it all.’

The News understands the licensee has decided to quit the pub but is staying in place until at least Remembrance Sunday.

Cllr Julie Bird, chairwoman of the licensing committee, confirmed the council did not take action against the pub over the sex incident.

But she said: ‘We wouldn’t want to see the pub close.

‘The licensing team does work hard to keep pubs open.

‘It would be a shame – that pub has been there for years.

‘As a council we want to keep it open and will work to keep pubs open but we have to stick to the letter of the law.’

Mr Lilly admitted the incident happened.

He said it should not have happened but he is now hoping to take on the licence and leasehold after pouring £2,500 into refurbishing the pub.

He said: ‘I’ve spoken to licensing, I can assure you that nothing is happening, licensing is quite happy.

‘The pub is continuing to operate, and is being refurbished.’

He said the licence holder was not throwing in the towel but that he could soon take over.

‘Hopefully we’re moving on with a clean slate,’ he said.

The News was unable to reach the owner, who is understood to be away.