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Holbeach and Spalding publicans say No10 Lockdown drinks party was a 'joke'



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Publicans have hit out at the latest revelations of a lockdown party at No 10 when bars across the area were closed due to coronavirus regulations.

Owners of The Crown Hotel in Holbeach Martin Forward and John Budworth say 2020 was a 'nightmare' and feel that all rules should be followed by everyone.

ITV News has reported today that an email was sent to 100 people inviting them to 'socially distanced drinks' in No 10 garden on May 20, 2020.

Martin Forward and John Budworth, outside and inside the Crown Hotel in Holbeach (15967432)
Martin Forward and John Budworth, outside and inside the Crown Hotel in Holbeach (15967432)

At that point, people were only allowed to meet one other person outside and the restrictions prevented pubs from reopening until July.

Mr Forward said: "It is one rule for them (the Government) and one rule for everyone else.

"It is a running joke. They expect people to follow the rules they put out but they can't follow them.

New owner Jeremy Powell outside The Red Lion Hotel, Spalding (46218815)
New owner Jeremy Powell outside The Red Lion Hotel, Spalding (46218815)

"If there is a set of rules, they should be followed across the board with no exceptions.

"For us, 2020 was an absolute nightmare. It was an absolute nightmare financially."

Owner of The Red Lion in Spalding, Jeremy Powell said it is 'infuriating' after a difficult December in which Government messaging affected the festive trade.

He said: "I feel very angry and let down. On a business level it hit us very hard financially. It is infuriating that they were not considering that in their actions and behaviour."

Mr Powell said that the 'paltry' grant of £6,000 offered to hospitality firms in December following Omicron announcements did not cover his weekly wage bill let alone the other costs.

He said: "Give us a better grant than the paltry one for the damage they did to our business.

"We lost most of our Christmas parties. It hit us hard.

"They said they didn't want us to close but the messaging they were leaking out through the press was the opposite."

We have approached John Hayes for comment.



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