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

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

‘When the pubs suffer, everyone suffers’: Pub landlord speaks to LBC

‘When the pubs suffer, everyone suffers’: Pub landlord speaks to LBC

Vi and Ray Donovan MBE told Tom Swarbrick how they forgave their son's killers

Parents share how they forgave their son's killers in amazing LBC call

Dr Hopkins said anyone with coronavirus symptoms should get a PCR test.

Top UK medical adviser: New Covid strain could re-infect people who have recovered

Reaction to Omicron 'totally over the top', says South Africa top doc

Reaction to Omicron 'totally over the top', says South Africa top doc

Dr Mike Tildesley told LBC it's "very early days" on the Omicron variant

Scientific adviser: We don’t yet know if Omicron resists vaccines or is more contagious

South African Health Minister Dr Joe Phaala told Tom Swarbrick outbreaks at universities fuelled the Omicron spike.

Universities fuelled Omicron outbreak, says South African Health Minister

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch in Full

Swarbrick on Sunday 28/11 | Watch again

Andy Burnham vows 'cross-party alliance' to level up North of England

Andy Burnham vows 'cross-party alliance' to level up North of England

Robert Buckland told Tom Swarbrick he would not support the change

Tory MP tells LBC he'll vote against Govt social care changes

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch live from 10am

Swarbrick on Sunday 21/11 | Watch again

The shadow Leader of the House of Commons called on the PM to consider his position.

Shadow Commons Leader calls on PM to consider position over sleaze scandal

Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman's mother Mina Smallman has spoken to LBC.

'Sick of platitudes': Mother of murdered sisters tells Met Police to 'get the rot out'

Minister confirms taxpayer will foot bill for UK nuclear power strategy

Minister confirms taxpayer will foot bill for UK nuclear power strategy

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch in Full

Swarbrick on Sunday 31/10 | Watch again

Post-lockdown extremism fears: 'We know radicalisation takes place online'

Post-lockdown extremism fears: 'We know radicalisation takes place online'

Lisa Nandy: 'I don't feel particularly safe doing the job'

Lisa Nandy: 'I don't feel particularly safe doing the job'