A WOMAN has been left feeling discriminated against after a Worthing supermarket refused to sell her alcohol – because she did not have a UK driving licence.
Despite having a UK biometric residency permit, which clearly states her date of birth and was issued by the UK Border Agency, Moscow-born Irina Sokolskaya was told she could not buy a bottle of wine from the Worthing Waitrose store because she did not have a UK driving licence or passport.
The 28-year-old, who lives in Marshall Avenue, Findon Valley, said when the cashier had first asked for a driving licence, she showed her international driving licence, but when it was refused, presented her residence permit, which clearly shows her date of birth and a picture of her face.
But the cashier, Irina said, told her the store would only accept a UK driving licence or passport.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I have bought alcohol from Waitrose several times before. I have used my residence permit every time and not had a problem.”
Irina said when a supervisor was called, he also told her ID was not acceptable and she should stop causing a fuss.
“I was getting upset because my English isn’t fantastic and I felt like they weren’t listening to me,” she said. “I probably should have stayed but I just left.
“Does this mean Waitrose only serves British customers? I feel discriminated. It is my legal right to live here in the UK, I work and I pay taxes and I have the documentation to prove that.
“Apparently, it’s not enough for Waitrose.”
Irina added: “I like shopping in Waitrose but I feel like I can’t go back. If they stopped me again I’d get too upset.”
A spokesperson for Waitrose said: “This was a one-off incident at one branch, where the staff member involved didn’t realise we also accept UK biometric residence permits.
“Our sincere apologies go out to Ms Sokolskaya.”
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