Wetherspoons founder says Covid lockdowns have ‘created economic and social mayhem and colossal debts’ as pub chain crashes to record loss
The founder of Wetherspoons said Covid lockdowns have ‘created economic and social mayhem and colossal debts’ as his pub chain crashed to a record half-year loss.
In a broadside at Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic, the firm’s chairman Tim Martin said regulations were ‘implemented at tremendous cost to the nation’ but with ‘no real basis in common sense or science’.
Raising a glass: Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin with Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Wetherspoons suffered a 53.8 per cent slump in revenues to £431.1m for the six months to January 24. The firm, which has 875 pubs across Britain, sank to a loss of £46.2m having made profits of £57.9m in the same period a year earlier.
Martin added: ‘The future of the industry, and of the UK economy, depends on a consistent set of sensible policies, and the ending of lockdowns and tier systems’.
To help get through the crisis, Wetherspoons has tapped into the Government’s furlough scheme, claiming more than £97m in the half year.
Shares fell 2.35 per cent, or 31p, to 1289p.