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Legal challenge to smoking ban delayed

31 March 2006

The legal challenge to the Scottish Executive's ban on smoking in enclosed places has been delayed.

A judicial review of petitions from London & Edinburgh Inns, the Swallow Hotels Group, Edinburgh City Football Club and Aviemore man Don Lawson was due to be heard next month, but has been put back until 20 June.

Mr Lawson, who owns the Johnny Foxes in Inverness and The Mallard pub in Dingwall was suspicious that the delay could be part of the Scottish Executive's plan to ensure there was no challenge, as the June date would give people time to get used to the ban.

He argues that there was inadequate consultation on the bill, that a total ban is an infringement of people's human rights, and that he is only looking for one concession - pubs to be allowed to have ventilated smoking rooms where possible.

A spokesperson for the court said three days had been set aside for the hearing on 20 June, and a further three days from 27 June.

The legal challenge has the support of Independent MSP Brian Monteith.