Home, possibly London's most high profile nightclub, was closed down on Friday. Westminster City Council revoked its late-night licence following police complaints over drug dealing on the premises.

Questioning the motives behind the decision is dangerous territory for the simple reason that it involves drugs. Recreational drugs may now be an integral part of latenight life in the capital and of the lifestyles many affluent young professionals, but they are illegal and drug dealing can expect to be hit hard.

But there remains the suspicion that, in this case, Home has been made an example of and that he punishment has been excessive. The fact that Westminster council, with its established hard line against late night entertainment venues, is involved is enough for many to take that view.

The police, however, are firm. Deputy assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said: "Home has a serious drug problem and there is no evidence of vigorous or effective security, despite repeated and continuing police advice.

"The management seems to have scant regard of their responsibilities to self-police their premises in so far as drugs are concerned."

According to a police report, staff at Home made only 74 drug seizures in the past seven months, compared to the nearby club Heaven where 945 seizures were made during the same period.

Ron McCulloch, managing director of Big Beat which runs Home, insisted the revocation was "unwarranted", claiming that the club had a tough anti-drugs policy. He is appealing the decision.

Why a company like Big Beat would risk its £10m investment over its drugs policy is hard to understand. Prolonged closure will hit it even harder.

Full revocation of its public entertainment licence does appear extreme. A short-term suspension over a weekend with a warning to clean-up its act may be would have been a more constructive alternative, if it could be done. If that failed, then something tougher. But that would not be Westminster's way.

It is a warning to the business that the police with their new powers are going to get even tougher on law-breaking on licensed premises. And it is no good the nightclub industry being precious about its supposed superior standards, this affects the whole industry.

The irony, of course, is that in a week when the Government is trying to save the tourism industry by insisting that the British countryside is open for business, Westminster council has sent a clear message that it is prepared to see the heart of UK's entertainment industry, London's West End, permanently closed down.

The challenge for the industry is that it has to do more to tackle issues like drugs before a sensible debate can be held.

o The chattering classes just won't leave Pret a Manger's tie-up with McDonalds alone. According to The Times. diarist Giles Coren, Pret may be using McDonald's "special sauce" in its salt beef sandwiches, as he said his sandwich tasted "exactly like a Big Mac". Haven't they anything better to talk about?