Staff are fighting for a living wage at a Mayfair club owned by a man who funded the Brexit campaign. They need our support
It is quite a scene. It’s a balmy summer afternoon, and 5 Hertford Street – described as “London’s most secretive club”, with an annual membership fee of £1,800 – is surrounded by union activists chanting: “Shame on you!” This is Shepherd Market, an enclave of Mayfair, which has overtaken Knightsbridge as London’s most expensive area, where Russian oligarchs brush shoulders with Saudi princes. As bemused punters at a pub opposite look on, clubgoers enter the 18th-century townhouse behind a guarded cordon; as drums beat and whistles are blown, activists belonging to the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) chase them with leaflets, yelling about the treatment of workers inside, while flustered police officers and security guards with faces like thunder stalk the trade unionists like cats. “It’s like the last days before the French Revolution,” one clubgoer tells me, somewhat wryly.