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Hospitality bosses threaten government with court Published Date: 15/03/2021

BBC reports that two of the biggest names in hospitality have threatened to take the government to court over its plans to release England from lockdown.

Pizza Express investor Hugh Osmond and Greater Manchester's night time economy adviser, Sacha Lord, said the industry is losing £200m a day.

In a letter to the prime minister, they said there is no "evidence or justification" to open shops five weeks before pubs and restaurants which they say is "plainly irrational".

The two men have asked the government to seek specific advice from scientists "whether it is justifiable to prevent the hospitality industry opening whilst, at the same time, allowing non-essential shops to open".

They argued that "transmission is plainly higher in non-essential shops," and said they would pursue legal action if the government did not provide evidence to the contrary.

"This legal case will give a fighting chance to over three million people who work in hospitality, to the tens of thousands of businesses, suppliers, landlords and contractors - large and small - forced into bankruptcy, and to millions of our loyal customers who have been deprived of the human social interaction they experience in our premises," Mr Osmond said.

He added that the extended lockdown for hospitality venues could have a "potentially indirectly discriminatory effect" on young people and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds working in the sector.

"I believe we can show that discrimination and unsubstantiated beliefs, rather than facts, science and evidence, lie at the heart of much of the government's approach to hospitality, and these wrongs need to be righted."