Furious Wetherspoons chief brands Government 'bunch of jokers' over tier restrictions

29 November 2020, 12:51

By Seán Hickey

The head of Britain's largest pub chain was irate over pandemic restrictions that are stretching businesses to breaking point.

Tom Swarbrick was speaking to Tim Martin as new lockdown restrictions are set to keep pubs closed in many parts of the nation, with those that are allowed reopen having to provide customers with a 'substantial meal' should they want to drink.

"It's a massive change to say you've got to have a substantial meal at the dog and duck," said the Wetherspoons CEO, compared to what was expected of punters just a couple of weeks ago.

Tom argued that because Wetherspoons branches serve food, they "stand to make more," due to competitors having to stay closed.

"Half the town centre is gonna be shut," Mr Martin pointed out, adding "the fact of the matter is going out to have a pint...is a national pastime."

"This is some of the most draconian legislation that has been seen in the history of the UK."

Tim Martin claimed that restrictions are killing local economies
Tim Martin claimed that restrictions are killing local economies. Picture: PA

Tom wondered if job losses in the sector are inevitable after hearing the concerns of Mr Martin.

The hospitality guru claimed that businesses have been "stretched to breaking point," because of restrictions preventing businesses from operating.

"We're probably in a better position than most," he accepted, "but we depend on the economy."

Speaking of the Government's approach to the pandemic, he told Tom that "this bunch of jokers...are spending £6 billion a week to subsidise this farce."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify