James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Dominic Cummings should resign insists pub chain boss
23 May 2020, 10:47 | Updated: 23 May 2020, 10:48
The boss of one of the UK's most successful pub chains insisted the PM's chief advisor should resign if he ignores his own advice.
James Watt, who is the CEO of high street pub chain Brewdog insisted that Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's chief adviser should "100% resign" amid revelations that he broke social distancing rules to travel 250 miles from London to County Durham during lockdown.
The pub boss joined Andrew Castle to discuss how his company has had to furlough over 1,000 of it's 2,000 strong workforce during the coronavirus crisis and how Brewdog have been working to operate with new lockdown rules.
"If they're asking the country to make sacrifices for the common good" Mr Watt said, the government and it's advisers should be abiding by the same rules. Mr Watt told Andrew that these lockdown rules are "costing jobs and costing the economy" especially in his industry and he saw that if the government were not living up to their own rules, "it is impossible" to expect people to listen to the rules.
The pub boss concluded that someone in the position of Dominic Cummings should be obeying their own advice and as he ignored it, he should pay with his job.
Andrew moved onto the dangers of extended lockdown for the hospitality industry and wanted to know how Mr Watt could see social distancing measures affecting the industry if they are not adapted.
The CEO told Andrew that 35 to 40% "of high street businesses will not reopen" after lockdown because they simply cannot afford to operate within the social distancing measures as they currently stand. "It's cheaper to be closed than to open at 50% capacity" he revealed to Andrew.
Andrew was dismayed by the national policy of having a 2 metre distance between people indoors, pointing out that "if you've got 2 metres around you, that's 12 metres of space" which is not feasible for a business such as a pub.
Mr Watt pointed out that his multinational company has "opened up across the world with 1 metre distance" and in those branches that have opened they have "a whole host of measures in place." He doesn't understand why the British government cannot take these measures themselves seeing as his businesses have functioned fine under these rules in other countries.
Andrew pushed the pub boss on whether he has brought his evidence forward to the government, which he replied that he has spoken to the Scottish assembly and that there have already been many businesses putting ideas forth to Westminster.
He added that "safety of staff and customers has to be first and foremost" and this is at the core of any ideas the hospitality has to reopen.