Durham’s MP brands the reopening of Missoula ‘incredibly disrespectful’

Roberta Blackman-Woods is seeking to close the premises


Roberta Blackman-Woods, Durham's MP, has spoken about her anger at the decision to reopen the Missoula nightclub in Walkergate, a month after the death of Durham student Olivia Burt.

She said: "It is not only potentially putting more people in danger, but is incredibly disrespectful to everyone affected by this awful tragedy".

Blackman-Woods will fight the decision to reopen, continuing: "I have written to the Chair of the Licensing Committee at Durham County Council to see what can be done to close these premises as soon as possible".

Investigations continue regarding the safety of the area

"I am outraged to learn that Missoula is open again just a matter of weeks after Olivia's tragic death in Durham.

"Missoula's website and Facebook page are still advertising parties and drinks offers, so it appears that despite this tragedy happening right on their doorstep, nothing has changed".

Police and Durham County Council investigations into the circumstances of Olivia Burt's death are currently underway, and despite their incompletion, the reopening of Missoula is going ahead.

A spokesperson from Missoula commented, "Following demand locally and through extensive consultation with the Police and other authorities, both of which continue on an ongoing basis, the decision was made for business to resume. It certainly wasn't one that was taken lightly and we continue to support the enquiry however we can."

Blackman-Woods spoke of the importance of thorough examination, saying: "it seems very unwise to reopen this establishment before investigations have concluded".

She highlighted the "real concern amongst residents, including many students, about having so many people in the Walkergate complex late into the night, especially as investigations are likely to identify safety concerns".