Demonstrators force central London Byron burger restaurant to close

The Holborn branch of Byron Hamburger was closed as people protested against an immigration swoop. Credit: PA Photos

Burger chain Byron have closed a central London restaurant as dozens of protesters gathered to demonstrate against the company's role in an immigration swoop that led to dozens of their staff being arrested.

The Holborn branch in central London is closed and a sign put on the door which read: "Sorry, we are temporarily closed because of a technical issue. Apologies for the inconvenience.”

Police officers stand outside the Byron restaurant in Holborn. Credit: PA

The closure follows a statement by the chain urging protesters to 'respect' customers.

A Byron spokeswoman said: "The safety of our customers and restaurant teams is paramount, and we would ask protesters to respect their safety this evening."

The protest is the latest in a string of demonstrations against the chain after 35 people were removed by immigration officials in what some believe was a sting by Byron.

A protester outside the Holborn branch of Byron Hamburgers. Credit: PA Photos

Byron have issued a statement refuting any wrong doing saying they have "cooperated fully and acted upon the Home Office's requests and processes thr

What do we know of the row so far?

  • On Monday 4 July 2016, the Home Office confirmed that 35 nationals from Brazil, Nepal, Egypt and Albania among those arrested in raid across Byron Hamburger chain’s London restaurants.

  • Workers claim that Byron trapped staff after they were asked to attend a meeting at 9.30am about cooking burgers. Within minutes immigration officers arrived with a list of names that employees believe were given to them by Byron Hamburgers.

  • Activists from two organisations, London Black Revs and Malcolm X Movement, let out a “swarm of insects” in Byron’s Shaftesbury Avenue and Holborn restaurants on Friday 29 July Friday in protest.

  • Over the weekend, protesters picketed other restaurants and #boycottbyron began circulating on Twitter.

  • In a joint statement published on Facebook, London Black Revs and Malcolm X Movement said the direct action was in response to the chain’s “despicable actions in the past weeks having entrapped waiters, back of house staff and chefs in collaboration with UK Border Agency”

  • Another protest was organised for Monday 1 August outside the Holborn branch. A Facebook page about the protest said: "Byron have acted shamefully and have made an example of themselves as a deeply disrespectful employer.