Boris Johnson tells MPs he will not resign over Downing Street parties
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Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin has criticised Boris Johnson and accused him of “hypocrisy” over Downing Street parties.

In a trading update, the JD Wetherspoon chain argued that if pubs had been allowed to open at the time of the 20 May Downing Street garden party, there would have been “a number of advantages” for the country.

It said: “Public anger regarding ‘partygate’ relates mainly to hypocrisy – the public was prevented from seeing friends and family, while the same rules were not observed at 10 Downing Street."

The statement continued: "If, instead of partying in No. 10 on the 20 May 2020, for example, the attendees had been able to visit a pub (pubs were locked down at the time) there would have been a number of advantages for the nation.”

The chain went on to argue what the benefits of having pubs open would have been.

The update continued: “Central London pubs employ experienced staff, including highly trained managers, who would have easily dealt with the 'high jinks' alleged to have occurred at No 10.

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“CCTV is in operation in central London pubs, so subsequent inquiries as to events are facilitated by the ready availability of evidence.”

The company’s trading update revealed that due to the Omicron variant, sales over 12 weeks up until 16 January 2022 were 15.6% down compared with the same time period last year.

The report concluded, saying that the company would be “loss-making” for the first half of this year, but it hopes that “the ending of restrictions, improved customer confidence and better weather” will see a higher-performing second half of 2022.

Wetherspoons’ owner Martin has been a champion of the Conservative government and its Brexit vision, but his chain was faced with the threat of boycott after Martin told Wetherspoons staff they wouldn’t be paid due to the pandemic and to go and find jobs at supermarkets
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