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JD Wetherspoon boss slams ‘reckless’ government

JD Wetherspoon chairman, Tim Martin has hit out at the latest tier system, arguing that the government has “effectively closed all pubs”.

In a letter addressed to UK MP’s Martin has said “it is a fallacy” that pubs will reopen on Wednesday 2 December, adding that this is the first time in history that the government has effectively closed all pubs in England. 

The chairman who has previously labelled hospitality restrictions “baffling and confusing” slammed the latest parliamentary measures and said the government is making “reckless decisions”.

It comes as England is set to leave lockdown this week, with new measures forbidding pubs and bars to trade unless the venue is operating as a restaurant.

Covid-19 restrictions have previously damaged the pub chain’s financial earrings, with the business reporting a £105.4m pre-tax loss in the year to 26 July. 

Martin said: “I decided to write to all MPs on Friday, because the government is making reckless decisions, using emergency powers, and MPs only have an occasional  opportunity to intervene- there will be a vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

“There is overwhelming scientific evidence that lockdowns and quasi-lockdowns can be counterproductive, as the World Health Organisation has recently emphasised.”

He added: “The government has spent around £350 billion on lockdowns so far – around three times what is spent annually on the health service. That expenditure will continue at about £6 billion a week for the indefinite future.

I am hopeful that MPs will see that the government is embarking on economically ruinous policies, with no health benefits.

“Pubs have invested tens of millions of pound to make them safe, in accordance with regulations devised by the government, local authorities and health officials. The test and trace results show that there has been very little transfer of the virus in pubs and restaurants.”

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