A retailer in Buntingford in Hertfordshire who is also the town's mayor faces a review on his alcohol licence after failing an underage test purchase.

Councillor Surjit Singh Basra's Londis store was caught selling alcohol to a 16-year-old volunteer as part of a local trading standards test purchase operation. The youth was not challenged about her age and was able to purchase wine from the shop.

Surjit's licence will be reviewed by East Hertfordshire Council's licensing sub-committee on July 12. The councillor declined to comment before the review, beyond saying that the situation was a "misunderstanding".

Retailer Lesley Brown, who is also deputy mayor of Barnstaple in Devon, said that there was an added pressure to ensure that you don't sell alcohol to those underage if you hold a public office. She added: "This situation shows that it can happen to anyone, no matter how responsible they are being, and that monitoring and training of staff in underage sales is constantly required.

"The pressure comes from yourself as you don't want to let the council down," she added. "Hopefully, the sub-committee will understand it was a one-off mistake rather than something the store does regularly."

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