No Girls Allowed: London’s Garrick Club in Turmoil As Member Expelled Over Gender Policy

In a clash of tradition and modernity, London’s prestigious Garrick Club has expelled a member amid a heated debate over its men-only policy, thrusting the exclusive institution into the spotlight. Here’s the full story.

Smoke Filled Rooms

The corridors of power worldwide are imagined to be wood-panelled rooms filled with cigar smoke and white-haired men divvying up the world as they see fit to suit their economic interests better. 

However, a recent revelation regarding one of the last remaining of these clubs threatens to reveal that the secrets held within these rooms are less exciting and more similar to the battles being fought outside them.

The deeply old-fashioned and potentially discriminatory Garrick Club, one of London’s last bastions of men-only exclusivity, recently made headlines for the expulsion of a long-standing member, Colin Brough. 

No Girls Allowed

Brough had taken issue with the club’s continuing refusal to admit women, escalating tensions between him and management.

Brough, who had been a member of the Garrick for four decades, was expelled following a series of passionate emails to fellow members advocating for the immediate admission of women. 

Brough’s emails were characterized by strong language and accusations of manipulation and obstructionism by management. Brough’s emails also accused the club’s leadership of stifling members’ desires for gender inclusivity.

Please Allow Girls

The internal strife exposed deep-seated divisions within the club. An internal poll found the majority of members were in favour of officially admitting women. 

Despite his apparent support, in a sign of how old-fashioned the Garrick Club is, Brough was called into a meeting with the club chairman on the 1st of February and kicked out for “conduct unbecoming of a gentleman.”

Two Hundred Years of Discrimination

The Garrick Club, which claims influential figures from the entertainment industry, politics, and judiciary as members, has refused to admit female members since its founding in 1831.

The club’s decision not to admit female members has drawn considerable public interest and scrutiny as society’s views on gender and discrimination continue to evolve. In contrast, the club remains proudly stuck in the past. 

Call in the Lawyers

The club had sought legal advice regarding its long-standing rules against admitting women, and legal advice from Michael Beloff KC, who previously defended the club’s men-only policy, has changed significantly following an update to his previous guidance in 2022. s

Beloff’s revised guidance concluded that there was no legal basis for excluding women and warned of potential legal troubles if the policy persisted. 

Cover Up

Despite the recommendations from their legal counsel, the club’s management chose not to follow his advice and even sought to withhold this updated advice from its members.

Beloff’s legal recommendations echoed sentiments shared by a significant portion of the exclusive club’s membership, which highlighted concerns over the reputational damage likely to be suffered by the club’s antiquated stance on gender equality. 

However, support from prominent members willing to stick their heads above the parapet, like Stephen Fry, did not help Brough in his quest for inclusivity among the genders.

I Say, Old Boys

The calls for reform from within the club continue to grow amidst growing discontent from the club’s ranks of some of the most privileged in British society. 

This ordeal is not a new one for the Garrick Club. Throughout the many long years of its privileged existence, there have been many attempts at reform. Joanna Lumley, famed actress and national treasure, was even put forward for membership in 2011. 

What Part Of “No Girls Allowed” Did You Not Understand? 

Despite these attempts at change, any perceived threats to the homogeneous membership were met with hostility and resistance from a minority of the club’s members, according to their polling. 

The entrenched resistance to change deeply reflects the deeply ingrained attitudes at the club, not just toward women but toward culture overall. 

The expulsion of Colin Brough and the ensuing controversy has further strained relationships within the club and raised questions about its reputation and even relevance in a society that has changed considerably since its founding. 

What’s All This Fuss?

The Garrick Club’s questionable handling of the situation has undoubtedly not helped the perception of it, and other clubs like it, as a remnant of a past many would rather forget. 

Thanks to the unending pursuit of equality sought by Brough, though by means that may be less than ideal, the Garrick club finds itself at a crossroads, where it must grapple with the tension that arises between adherence to tradition and the needs of progress in society. 

The Time Is Now

Brough’s expulsion symbolizes a broader struggle within many aspects of British society to reconcile the past with modern values of inclusivity and diversity. 

As the club grapples with the apparently monumental undertaking of deciding whether or not to admit women, its response will be closely watched, reflecting not only the changing times we live in but also the admittance of women to the previously well-guarded corridors of power. 

The post No Girls Allowed: London’s Garrick Club in Turmoil As Member Expelled Over Gender Policy first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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