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Prestigious West Hampstead tennis club marred by 'disgraceful' child voting row

PUBLISHED: 11:29 29 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:29 29 May 2015

The prestigious Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club has become embroiled in a bitter row in recent weeks. Picture: Twitter/@Tennis_Europe

The prestigious Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club has become embroiled in a bitter row in recent weeks. Picture: Twitter/@Tennis_Europe

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Word has reached the Ham&High of an almighty, and somewhat bizarre, row that has broken out on the lush lawns of one of the most prestigious tennis clubs in the country.

The exclusive Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club – which counts High Court judges, politicians and top tennis stars among its members – could see an entirely new committee elected next month, as the fallout of a bitter dispute sees members mull over a no confidence vote in the leadership.

It follows what players at the highly-regarded club in West Hampstead described as a “totally disgraceful” series of events during their club’s AGM on April 30.

The row concerns whether child members of the club should have been allowed to vote during the annual election of committee members.

But what exactly occurred during that meeting has become so bitterly disputed that committee members have felt the need to hire top lawyers and the club itself has used the services of a deputy High Court judge for advice.

With members looking on in astonishment at the scale of the bickering, letters sent by the club describe how the committee “unanimously agrees with members’ views regarding the totally disgraceful events at the AGM”, and say the club has hired a QC to determine if club rules had been broken.

While the opinion of Alan Steinfeld QC was that children were not allowed to vote, the club eventually concluded rules were not breached.

The full details of what happened during the AGM may never be agreed upon.

But next month, members of this club, who include former Wimbledon stars and whose ladies have been national champions for two years running, will decide whether the dispute has gone too far and if they should submit a vote of no confidence in the committee.

The Ham&High awaits news with interest.

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