'Where is the proof? Where are the figures to show how it’s spread in pubs and theatres?'

15 December 2020, 10:14

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This is the moment Nick Ferrari challenged a Government Minister over proof Covid is spread in pubs and theatres.

Speaking to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay, LBC's Nick asked: "Where is the proof? Where are the figures to show how it’s spread in pubs and theatres?"

In response, the Minister said: "Well the proof in terms of the figures, Nick, is that hospitalisations are up 25%..."

But Nick interrupted Mr Barclay, to say: "No, you misunderstood me. The fact that the pubs and the theatres are where it’s spread. Where is the proof of that?"

This led to the Minister explaining the advice, he told LBC: "If you look at the last time we put in the restrictions, they did have an impact once we closed hospitality, so if you look at the last time we went through dealing with the second wave, it was shown and the data from SAGE on the 23rd November showed that that had had an impact."

Acknowledging calls LBC has received Mr Barclay said he was "acutely aware that this is hugely impactful on many businesses. "

He said he knew "many of those businesses have taken major steps to make their businesses Covid secure and I recognise this is hugely devastating news, but the path of the infection has increased so quickly, that’s why we’ve had to take the additional measures in London and the south-east."

Nick questioned Mr Barclay after the Minister said there was "light at the end of the tunnel."

"Respectfully, saying there’s light at the end of the tunnel the day after your colleagues have shut down businesses… is not a great choice of words, is it?"

"There are pubs that are closing now that will never open again. You know that. And that’s light at the end of the tunnel, is it? 290,000 people across the country that’s jobs in the balance and you call that light at the end of the tunnel?"

Watch the whole video at the top of the page to see the Minister's reply.