West Yorkshire hairdresser fined for defying lockdown to stay open by trying to use the Magna Carta

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A hairdresser in West Yorkshire has been fined for refusing to close in line with national lockdown rules after using the Magna Carta to try and stay open.

Quinn Blakey Hairdressing, in Bradford, made the decision to open during lockdown and refused to close when asked by the police.

The hairdresser had a sign on her door which referenced Article 61 of Magna Carta 1215 which stated it has a “right to enter into lawful dissent if we feel we are being governed unjustly.”

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The hairdresser has now been fined £1,000 for her defiance of the current lockdown laws in England where non-essential businesses, including hairdressers, must close.

The hair salon Quinn Blakey has been finedThe hair salon Quinn Blakey has been fined
The hair salon Quinn Blakey has been fined

The owner of the Oakenshaw salon was issued with a prohibition notice to close by Kirklees Council, supported by West Yorkshire Police, as well as a Fixed Penalty Notice of £1,000 on Monday November 9.

A post on the salon’s Facebook page on the same day explained that the salon was staying open to ensure the salon’s rent was paid along with the owner’s personal mortgage, bills, childcare fees, food, car and insurance.

The now deleted post read: “I earned this week’s rent today, not sure where I would be pulling that money from given the government want self employed business people to wait SIX WEEKS for a payment.

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"I still have a mortgage, bills, childcare fees, food, car, insurance etc not to mention the overheads for the shop.

"If we give up now I can categorically guarantee your small businesses will not survive this lockdown - given it’s not going to be four weeks.

“Like I said before this is more than just having a business and an income, this is my children’s future and that’s more important to me than anything. Thank you to the clients who are supporting me in this difficult time!”

The letter on the door referring to the 1215 document said: “Under Article 61 of Magna Carta 1215 we have a right to enter into lawful dissent if we feel we are being governed unjustly.

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“Contrary to common belief, our sovereign and her government are only there to govern us and not rule us.

“This must be done within the constraint of our common law and the freedoms asserted to us by such law. Nothing can become law in this country if it falls outside of this simple constraint.

“I am not under any obligation, nor will I, answer any questions or give you any details. I am a living persons and statutory regulations only apply with my consent.”

The letter continued to demand proof for eight different clauses before Quinn Blakey Hairdressing salon said they would agree to close.

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The original version of Magna Carta granted powers to barons in order to keep the provisions of the Magna Carta, but these powers were not granted to the wider population. Within a year of being written, this clause was removed from subsequent versions of Magna Carta. It was never incorporated into English statutory law and so cannot be used as a Common Law defence.

The Yorkshire Evening Post attempted to contact the salon by phone, Facebook and Instagram.

Councillor Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture at Kirklees Council, said: “We completely understand how tough it has been, and continues to be, for local businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will do all we can to support them through what has been a devastating period, but it is absolutely crucial for people’s safety that we all follow the latest COVID-19 rules and guidance.

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“Kirklees currently has the 13th highest rates in the country and rates are increasing, meaning more people in hospital and more people sadly losing their lives.

“The law set by the Government is there so we can bring infection rates down, ease pressure on our health services and save lives. But it only works if we all stick to it and realise that no one is above the law. Frankly, the actions taken by this business are selfish and irresponsible.

“We will not hesitate to take action on anyone who breaches the rules that are in place to keep us all safe. Repeated breaches of COVID-19 regulations will result in ever increasing fines up to £10,000 or prosecution.

“Thankfully, most are following the COVID-19 guidance and I’d like to thank people across the whole of Kirklees for playing their part and keeping themselves and others safe.”

The current national lockdown restrictions are in place until December 2.

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