A PUB will be able to re-open after councillors voted for bosses to keep their licence, despite a previous manager holding a lockdown party.

Burnley Council’s licensing committee met to discuss the future of the Kings Arms in Padiham, on Tuesday.

The review came in response to police visiting the premises on Easter Monday, after reports of an illegal gathering with loud music and people smoking outside despite coronavirus lockdown.

At the meeting, councillors heard an email from the former bar manager Sarah Sanderson about the incident on April 13.

She said: “I had three friends upstairs in my apartment during the Covid outbreak. I will take full responsibility for this and licensee Micheala Harrington was not aware of this.

“I did this entirely off my own back and my actions were silly and reckless and I understand the upset I have caused and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise. I have asked that Michaela Harrington be left out of this as I have caused her enough upset. I have ultimately paid the price for my selfish action and I have lost my home and my job.”

PC Michael Jones spoke during the proceedings saying officers attended the venue and found two males in an upstairs bedroom ‘feigning to be asleep’ and six people were in the flat.

He added: “We thought it was a case of a licensed premises having a lock-in entertaining people but after further investigation I am quite happy that the only activity was in private quarters and not downstairs in licensed premises.”

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “The committee has considered the evidence from all parties and believes the premises licence holder and the DPS have acted reasonably in the circumstances. Once they were made aware of the breach of coronavirus legislation, they took immediate action to ensure the manager was removed from the premises. It is unfortunate that the only access to the residential premises was through the licensed premises. The committee has therefore decided to add a condition in relation to staff training which may prevent a situation like this occurring in the future.”

In a statement on the pub's Facebook page, Michaela Harrington said: “Good news everyone, we have been allowed to retain our premises licence. A massive thank you to Karen Ingham and Karon Crossley for their campaigning on our behalf. Thank you to all our customers for their continued support and messages of encouragement during this extremely stressful time. We look forward to seeing you all once it is safe enough for us to reopen our doors.”