EMILY PRESCOTT: Now JK Rowling rows back on ‘no men’ claim at her women’s boozy lunch

When J. K. Rowling threw a raucous get-together for women activists at her favourite West London restaurant, River Cafe, it was mocked as the ‘gender wars lunch’.

Now though, I can reveal there have been intriguing developments in the controversy, which started when it was claimed that the Michelin-starred establishment questioned the absence of men at the event, held in its private room.

As we previously reported, one of the guests, writer Suzanne Moore, told readers in an article about the boozy lunch and how the Harry Potter author was asked ‘No men?’ when she called the River Cafe to book. The question prompted a social media backlash against the venue, with one critic asking: ‘Do they have an obligatory penis policy?’

J. K. enjoyed Moore’s piece so much that she retweeted it to her 13 million Twitter followers.

Get-together: J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Moore, front right, with other guests at the Harry Potter author’s favourite West London restaurant, River Cafe

As we previously reported, one of the guests, writer Suzanne Moore, told readers in an article about the boozy lunch and how the Harry Potter author was asked ‘No men?’ when she called the River Cafe to book. The question prompted a social media backlash against the venue, with one critic asking: ‘Do they have an obligatory penis policy?’ J. K. enjoyed Moore’s piece so much that she retweeted it to her 13 million Twitter followers

However, the owner of the River Cafe wasn’t so pleased with the article. I have now discovered that the suggestion that a lack of men at the do was questioned has upset the owner Ruthie Rogers, with a source close to her saying that she was ‘disappointed’ that ‘wrong information’ was circulated.

The source adds: ‘Ruthie isn’t happy that this claim prompted a massive backlash against her beloved restaurant. She will protect it and its reputation to the hilt.’ 

So it is perhaps curious that J. K. – a regular at the River Cafe – has backtracked and now says that the question was not raised to her about the women-only lunch, which was held last month with guests including Labour MP Rosie Duffield and campaigner Julie Bindel.

In fact, she now says – contrary to Moore’s piece which appeared in the Daily Telegraph – that she didn’t make the booking but rather her ‘office’ did.

The source adds: ‘It was all rather strange that J. K. loved the piece so much that she would tweet it to all of her followers but when Ruthie made her feelings known, it all changed.’

And, mysteriously, so has Moore’s piece, which can still be found online – but with no mention of the ‘No men?’ phone call.

Former Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall’s lust for life may at last be returning after a painful few years that saw divorce and his exit from the band after his support for a Right-wing author sparked a backlash. 

Winston, 34, has fallen for Italian political journalist, Alessandra Bocchi.

Former Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall’s lust for life may at last be returning after a painful few years

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