Police clear former Marco Pierre White restaurant in central London being used by squatters | UK News

Police clear former Marco Pierre White restaurant in central London being used by squatters | UK News

Squatters have been removed from a former restaurant owned by chef Marco Pierre White in central London.

Police have secured the site in Leicester Square after officers patrolling Westminster were stopped shortly after 1am on Sunday by members of the public reporting an unlicensed music event taking place in an empty building on the square, the force said.

The former steak and pizza restaurant was cleared of people and secured, and one man was arrested on suspicion of carrying Class A and B drugs with intent to supply.

A manager at the Jollibee restaurant next door said he had recently seen “homeless people” at the back of the premises “doing drugs”.

The restaurant, which was ran by Black & White Hospitality, closed earlier this year after two years in operation.

The issue was “dealt with” by the police, Westminster City Council said, despite it usually being a civil matter.

It comes after squatters took over the pub of another celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, near Regent’s Park last week.

The York & Albany pub near Regent’s Park, London. Pic: PA

Kitchen Nightmares host Ramsay called the police a week ago but was unable to have the squatters removed from the Grade II York & Albany, it is understood.

Film director Gary Love bought the freehold of the former 19th century coaching inn and leased the pub to Ramsay on a 25-year term with an annual rent of £640,000.

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Ramsay unsuccessfully attempted to free himself from the lease in a legal battle at the High Court in 2015 and the venue went on sale at the end of last year with a guide price of £13m.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement they were made “aware of squatters at a disused property”, but added: “This is a civil matter and so police did not attend the property.”

According to government guidance, squatters can apply to become the registered owners of a property if they have occupied it continuously for 10 years, acted as owners for the whole of that time and had not previously been given permission to live there by the owner.

A representative of Ramsay declined to comment when contacted by Sky News.


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