Categories
General

Wetherspoon to remove anti-lockdown posters after criticism of pub 500m from London hospital – My London

https://www.mylondon.news/whats-on/food-drink-news/wetherspoon-remove-anti-lockdown-posters-19612258

Wetherspoon has agreed to remove posters from pub windows which people have criticised for containing “misleading” information about Covid.

As part of a campaign by chairman Tim Martin against Government coronavirus restrictions, pages from the pub chain’s magazine  ‘Wetherspoon News’  were made available to download and put in pub windows in December.

There has been a backlash on social though, after a Wetherspoon pub put up posters from a news story published on November 20, which cast doubt on warnings of scientists about the threat posed by the second wave of Covid-19.

One Twitter user pointed out the Catford pub is “500m from Lewisham Hospital, which is full of Covid patients,” and accused the pub chain of encouraging people “to ignore the lockdown restrictions”.

Having initially defended the posters, a Wetherspoon spokesman has now confirmed to The Independent that they will in fact be taken down.

For more news and features about London directly to your inbox sign up to our newsletter here .

One of the posters makes reference to an article which challenged the government’s response to Covid, written by freelance journalist Ross Clark.

Clark told the Daily Star he did not know the pub were using the piece in his posters and said his piece was intended to present data that helped put Covid “in perspective”.

“I think it is vital to do this because the constant presentation of deaths tolls and worst-case scenarios has affected the mental health of many people,” he said.

“In one poll in the summer many people exaggerated the number of people killed by Covid a hundredfold.”

The posters were criticised online by Twitter users who claimed the posters were “spreading misinformation” that could “cause harm” if believed.

“I was already never visiting one again because of their CEO’s opinions on Brexit, but this is another reason,” one wrote.

Another said: “Despicable. I will never go to a Wetherspoon again after this is over.”

Confirming the posters will now be removed, the spokesman said: “The heading for the posters is ‘Read all about it’, which refers to the online edition of  Wetherspoon News .

“The online edition has articles by most leading newspapers including  The Sunday TimesThe GuardianNew StatesmanDaily Telegraph  and  The Independent .

“Having said that, the posters have been up for six weeks and it is fair to say that a few of the comments are out of date. 

“We intend to take the posters down from all Wetherspoon pubs in the next few days.

“It is vital in a democracy to have an informed debate. As a result there may be an opportunity to replace the posters with more up-to-date articles in due course.”