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Wetherspoon pub boss – who donated £50k to Tories – blasts Boris Johnson’s ‘reckless’ government

Tim Martin appears on Good Morning Britain - Credit: Archant

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin, who boasted of donating £50,000 to the Tory party ahead of the 2019 general election, has now blasted the “reckless” government for their decisions over the coronavirus pandemic.

The pro-Brexit chairman has written to MPs criticising the second lockdown for their policies, which he says is hurting pubs.

He wrote: “It is a fallacy that pubs will reopen on Wednesday 2 December. The government has effectively closed all pubs in England, by stealth- possibly for the first time in history.

“A pub licence, unlike a restaurant licence,  allows you to sell beer, wine and spirits “for consumption on the premises”, without a table meal- and this is now prohibited.

“The reality is that pubs in tier 3 will be physically shut from 2 December and pubs in tier 2, if they open at all, will be trading as restaurants , not pubs. There are only a tiny number of pubs in tier 1- and in those you can’t even order at the bar.”

He continued: “I decided to write to all MPs on Friday, because the government is making reckless decisions, using emergency powers, and MPs only have an occasional opportunity to intervene- there will be a vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

“There is overwhelming scientific evidence that lockdowns and quasi-lockdowns can be counterproductive, as the World Health Organisation has recently emphasised.

“The government has spent around £350 billion on lockdowns so far – around three times what is spent annually on the health service. That expenditure will continue at about £6 billion a week for the indefinite future.”

Days before Boris Johnson’s election win Martin appeared on the BBC to reveal he had donated £50,000 to the Tories, giving him access to the Conservative Leaders Group, which allows him to meet with the prime minister and his ministers for lunches, dinners and drinks receptions.

But he insisted he did not want anything in return for the money.

“Nothing in return for me personally or for the business really other than the fact I think the business will be better off if the country is run on the basis of a private enterprise system and if we leave the EU.

“Those are my two prioritise.”