Wetherspoons boss slams ‘out of touch and out of control’ Government pub curfew

Wetherspoons pubs founder Tim Martin has slammed the Government’s new 10pm pub curfew amid reports some venues will ignore the rules.

Tim Martin said pubs were not behind the rise in coronavirus infections and imposing the shut down will hit landlords.

He claimed ministers have "very low" transmission statistics from pubs and restaurants and has said the Government is tightening restrictions for "PR reasons".

Mr Martin claims of the 861 Wetherspoons pubs, as of last week, 810 had no infections reported and all were operating track and trace.

He said: "I think the Government is out of touch and out of control.

"Most people think of a pub, a vision from their youth, people dancing, loud music and raucous behaviour.

"Most pubs are not like that and no pub when operating social distancing is like that.

"Why have they done it?

"The only thing I can think of is they must have the stats for pubs, very low figures for transmissions, so the reason they have done is it’s for PR reasons.

"They want to be seen to be doing something."

Mr Martin said only hand washing and social distancing will work against coronavirus transmissions, not a curfew on restaurants and pubs.

He called on Parliament to "take charge" to debate the way forward, suggesting MPs look at how Sweden is tackling the pandemic.

The pub chain announced plans to cut up to half of its jobs at pubs in six UK airports, with 400 out of 1,000 staff at risk of redundancy.

  • Wetherspoons slashing almost half the staff at its UK airport pubs as 450 jobs lost

John Hutson, the Company's Chief Executive, said: “The decision is mainly a result of a downturn in trade in these pubs, linked with the large reduction in passenger numbers using the airports.

“We should emphasise that no firm decisions have been made at this stage.

“Wetherspoon is proposing to collectively consult with employees through an employment representative committee, which will be established for this purpose.”

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