Julian Metcalfe lambasts PM’s ‘exaggerated nonsense’

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Itsu boss Julian Metcalfe lambasts PM’s ‘exaggerated nonsense’

Related tags Coronavirus

Itsu CEO Julian Metcalfe has savaged Prime Minister Boris Johnson for “spouting Churchillian nonsense” and called a new six-month call to work from home “criminal”.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4′s World at One​ programme yesterday (23 September), the Pret co-founder described the PM’s speech on Tuesday night as "a man sitting down with his Union Jack talking utter nonsense”.

He slated Johnson’s “exaggerated nonsense”, warning the decision to impose a 10pm curfew on England's hospitality sector and order office workers to continue working from home would see millions of jobs across the industry lost.

Metcalfe did, however, praise Chancellor Rishi Sunak for his efforts to help struggling businesses.

He said: “Unless we get some clarity from the Government we end up having to keep many, many – I dread to think how many - people will end up being made redundant, it’s heart-breaking.

"It’s hundreds and thousands of hospitality businesses. The knock on effects are on the people who look after them, who service them, who bring them food, and clean them - it’s hundreds of thousands, millions of jobs.

“What we need is the Government, particularly our Prime Minister, this man sitting down with his Union Jack talking utter nonsense, that’s where we need leadership

“What I would advise our Prime Minister to do, number one is get aligned with his team.

“To turn to an entire nation and say stay at home for six months and to spout off some Churchillian nonsense about we’ll make it through, it’s terribly unhelpful to this country.

“This talk of six months is criminal, it should be we will review it, we are here to serve you as civil servants. We will review the information and the data each week, each hour, we will behave like responsible people."

Metcalfe added to Radio 4​: “The repercussions on this six months is going to be devastating to so many people, to local councils, to industry, to people all over our country, devastating.

“We have just not begun to touch the seriousness of this. How long can this continue, this vague work from home? Don’t go on public transport?

“Meanwhile the industries that keep this country going, they’re all expected to go to work, our hospitals and everyone in them. What happens to the thousands of people who look after and maintain shopping centres, the ramifications of this are just enormous.

“Not, everyone stay at home for six months and we’ll see where we are because the scientists – all disagreeing with each other – have said X, Y or Z. It’s just nonsense.

“We need leadership, we don’t need exaggerated nonsense.”

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