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Squatters vow to remain in Gordon Ramsay’s £13,000,000 pub

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Gordon Ramsay previously served papers to squatters after his pub was taken over (Picture: PA/Rex/@camdenartcafe)

Squatters have vowed to remain inside a Gordon Ramsay pub in London, claiming to have reached an agreement with the building’s owner.

The York & Albany pub, which also functions as a boutique hotel, near Regent’s Park in London is understood to have been temporarily closed while Ramsay, 57, signed over a multi-million-pound lease to new partners.

During its closure, a group of ‘six professional squatters’, who call themselves The Camden Art Cafe collective, have managed to gain access to the Grade II listed building, in which they are now sleeping and living, and have set up a community kitchen.

Lawyers for Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Limited (GRHI) secured a High Court order for the possession of the premises on Thursday, which appeared to pave the way for enforcement officers to retake the Grade II listed building.

On Saturday (April 20), court orders taped to the doors of the premises had been torn down and a squatter said the group would be staying put.

‘We’ve made a deal,’ he told the PA news agency, adding: ‘With the owner, not Ramsay.’

The ‘professional squatters’ have invited other people to use the venue (Picture: @camdenartcafe)

He said: ‘We’re still here, and we’re going to carry on staying here. We’re going to be security for him.’

The former pub and hotel building in Camden is on the market for £13million, after a protracted legal battle between Hell’s Kitchen presenter Ramsay and film director Gary Love.

In 2007, Mr Love purchased the freehold of the premises, before leasing the pub to Ramsay on a 25-year term for an annual rent of £640,000.

The celebrity chef attempted to free himself from the lease in 2015 but was unsuccessful in the High Court.

On Thursday, lawyers for GRHI were granted an order by Judge Simon Brown to retake the property.

The York and Albany pub is located in Camden, north London (Picture: PA)

Some of the squatters initially said they would comply with the ruling, leading to a steady stream of people leaving on Friday.

However, a number of those who left have since returned and it is unclear how many people remain inside the building.

Banners that had been draped from the balcony, reading ‘whatever they say, squatters will stay’ and ‘squat the lot’, have been removed by the occupants.

A man, who said he was a friend of one of the squatters, entered the York & Albany briefly on Friday and said afterwards those inside had no intention of leaving.

‘They’re going to wait for the bailiff,’ he told PA, adding: ‘That’s basically what they’re going to end up doing.’

The squatters claim to have been served papers (Picture: @camdenartcafe)
The six ‘professional squatters’ locked themselves inside the Grade II-listed York & Albany hotel(Picture: Piers Mucklejohn/PA Wire)

The friend, who would not give his name but said he is a former squatter himself, added that those inside the building were young, homeless and had been squatting in various locations for a long time.

The squatter group ran a cafe out of the building last week, handing out free food and drink to ‘the people of Camden who have been victims of gentrification and parasitic projects like HS2’.

A squatter told the PA news agency on Friday: ‘We’re not bad people. I pay my taxes, I’ve got a job, I work in a pub.

‘We just need a place to stay, that’s it. We’re trying to do a good thing here.’

However, they previously claimed to have been asked to leave in an Instagram post and apologised to anyone planning to attend the now-cancelled café.

‘Apologies to everyone who was going to come along today. Papers served, cafe cancelled!’ the Instagram Story read.

Those in the property welcomed donations (Picture: W8Media/MEGA)
The Camden Art Cafe explained their reasoning for overtaking the pub (Picture: @camdenartcafe)

Explaining their reasoning for being there, the Camden Art Cafe wrote on Instagram: ‘We are occupying the York and Albany Hotel in Camden as the collective Camden Art Cafe.

‘We aim to open our doors regularly to anyone and everyone, particularly the people of Camden who have been victims of gentrification and parasitic projects like HS2.

‘We provide free food, drinks, and a space to display their art without the ridiculous red tape that galleries require people to jump over. We believe all of us and our art deserve dignity.’

They previously asked for donations to keep the ‘free shop going’ in a notice taped to the exterior.

They added that Camden has ‘one of the biggest wealth disparities in London,’ and so ‘it seems only fitting that £13million properties that most locals would never be able to afford to visit should be opened up to all’.

The inside of the York & Albany pub looks disheveled (Picture: W8Media/MEGA)
The bar interior prior to the squatters’ arrival (Picture: W8Media/MEGA)

In pictures snapped of the inside, the interior of the bar area is shown to be scattered with debris including plugs, water bottles, a beer can, used cups and a pair of crutches leaning against the wall.

The group placed another sign on the door for anybody passing by to see, which threatened legal action against anyone who tries to force them out, claiming that they are entitled to stay there as it ‘is a non-residential building’.

‘Take notice that we occupy this property and at all times there is at least one person in occupation,’ it read.

‘That any entry or attempt to enter into these premises without our permission is, therefore, a criminal offence as any one of us who is in physical possession is opposed to such entry without our permission.’

Ramsay is said to have contacted the police but has been unable to have the squatters removed and is at the ‘end of his tether’ claims The Sun.

When contacted for comment by Metro.co.uk, the Metropolitan Police confirmed in a statement: ‘Police were made aware of squatters at a disused property in Parkway, Regent’s Park, NW1 on Wednesday, 10 April.

‘This is a civil matter and so police did not attend the property.’

The occupants taped a legal warning to the door (Picture: Piers Mucklejohn/PA Wire)
Ramsay is said to be frustrated by the situation (Picture: FOX via Getty Images)

The Michelin-starred chef lost a court battle back in 2015 over the premises when he was found personally liable to pay £640,000 in rent, as arranged by his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, whom Ramsay had sacked years prior.

He was jailed for six months in 2017 for conspiring with his sons to hack company computers to steal information during his public bitter dispute with the celebrity chef.

The property dates back to 1826 and is currently on the market with a guide price of £ 13 million and a lease agreement in place with Ramsay, who owns and operates dozens of restaurants.

Gary Love and Gordon Ramsay have been contacted comment.

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