Cameo explanation branded 'not acceptable' by black clubber

media captionLeonard Lionel reads the clubs response to his claims

Cameo nightclub in Bournemouth has now issued two statements denying a group of black customers were refused entry because of their race.

The eleven friends prepaid £750 to enter the club and say they were not allowed in despite a group of white customers gaining entry.

The club strongly denies race played a part, however they will not confirm why this specific group were stopped.

Leonard Lionel, who was stopped, called the club's response "unacceptable".

He said claims his group have been refunded are "lies" because no money has been received yet.

He also told Newsbeat he felt "victimised" and "marginalised" but for the first time in his life is refusing to "turn the other cheek".

The first statement released by the club reads: "We categorically refute these allegations.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionCameo's website states it caters for parties, but refused the 11 men entry for being in a large group

"We operate a professional and well run venue and we reserve the right to refuse entry for various reasons, but race is never one of them.

"We have a diverse customer base and staffing at the club.

"Based on our vast experience and judgement we did not allow in a total of 150 people on Saturday night.

"We have fully refunded the group and apologise for any disappointment."

Newsbeat asked the club to clarify why the group of black friends had been stopped.

media captionThe men say they were told that the club was not letting in groups, but then were said to have filmed a group of mainly white men walking in

We also asked them about the claims a group of white customers were allowed in.

The club responded with the following updated statement: "We have fully refunded the group and apologised for any disappointment caused.

"However, we categorically deny that they were refused entry on the grounds of race; we do not discriminate against anyone and have worked hard to build strong relationships with all members of the local community.

image copyrightBBC Newsbeat
image captionLeonard Lionel says he still wants to know why he and his friends were turned away

"This includes running a very successful R&B night for the last two years, that welcomes a diverse group of customers.

"It was an extremely busy night and, based on our vast experience and judgement, we did not allow entry to over 150 people from a wide range of backgrounds."

Leonard said the statements assumes that he was not "disappointed" at not being allowed in. He says he was insulted.

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