Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, is heading a group to take the Government to a Judicial Review, with the support of Andy Burnham, Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and the British Beer and Pub Association.
“In Greater Manchester, we will not accept shutting our pubs/bars without any scientific evidence. That’s why, with the support of Andy Burnham, I’m heading a group to take the Government to a Judicial Review,” says Lord.
“We have been given no tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure of hospitality and entertainment sectors and have been left with no option than to escalate the matter with legal action.”
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning, Lord pointed to recently published Public Health England figures that hospitality accounted for only 3% of the cases of Coronavirus and said it was “far safer to go to a pub” and that the lockdown would lead to people going to house parties instead.
“Whoever is making these knee-jerk decisions are not dealing with the operators,” he said.
Lord also said that the Government’s decision to pay 67% of an employee’s wages as a result of a local lockdown “doesn’t make sense” and was unfair. “Ut feels reckless, like we’ve been thrown under a bus.”
Speaking of the legal challenge, Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA, says: “The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from Government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the North of England.”
“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the Chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.”
“This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to PHE transmission rates, when compared to other key environments.”
“Systematic closure of businesses across the UK must be challenged when there is no clear evidence or reason.”