U.K. - G20 Foreign dignitaries will be exempt from smoking ban, ..

March 13, 2009 - The United Kingdom hosts the G20 (Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors) finance ministers' meeting in London March 14 and the leaders' summit April 2. (G20 - 19 of the world's largest national economies, plus the European Union (EU).) The G-20 is a forum for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system

Foreign dignitaries attending the G20 summit in London next month will be exempt from the smoking ban, it has been revealed. (On July 1st 2007, England introduced a new law to make virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England smokefree.) The leniency required an amendment to the legislation enforcing the ban. Certain smoking rooms will now be allowed in the Excel Exhibition Centre in Docklands in east London during the summit.

Andy Davis, chairman of Freedom2Choose: "This concession should now be made available to all private businesses and clubs for them to adopt if they so desire." Many working men's clubs have faced precipitous falls in income since the smoking ban, after a second vote in parliament denied private members clubs the right to allow members to opt-in to smoking leniency.

Conservative MP Anne Widdecombe said: "It's one law for one, and one for another, and I think that sums up this government."

Reference: G20 exempt from smoking ban by Ian Dunt, Politic.co.uk, 3/12/2009.