UK Chancellor found himself on the receiving end of mounting criticism over a Twitter post about his plans to speak to hospitality industry leaders “to hear how they've reacted to the pandemic.”
The series of talks will sets off with British chef, restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay.
Over the next few weeks I'm speaking to industry leaders and experts to hear how they've reacted to the pandemic.— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) February 18, 2021
It starts tomorrow with @GordonRamsay who sat down with me to talk about the challenges facing hospitality and how he launched a TV show in lockdown. #PlanForJobs pic.twitter.com/dk1pYjHsts
The problem with Sunak’s action plan, according to many, is that he chose the wrong person to be inquiring about economic hardship and business challenges during the time of Covid-19 restrictions.
Ramsay, who owns 35 restaurants across the UK and stars in TV shows including Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef, was listed by Forbes in 2020 as the only chef on the Celebrity 100 list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities.
Comments poured on Twitter, suggesting Ramsay was not a good choice when it comes to exposing the economic struggle faced by UK hospitality.
Are you sure, electorate, that @RishiSunak excites you as a politician?— Kathy Gyngell (@KathyConWom) February 19, 2021
ASking the advice of television star Gordon Ramsay - with multiple income streams and homes - about the plight of the hospitality industry is a tone-deaf PR stunt.
Hi I’m Rishi Sunak and today I’m chatting about the struggle to make a living in the car sales industry during the pandemic with Elon Musk— James Felton (@JimMFelton) February 19, 2021
Oh dear. Billionaire politician Rishi Sunak ‘shoots the breeze’ with millionaire celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. In the background low paid hospitality workers are at breaking point https://t.co/gueCCZ8r9d— Gladstone (@shane_gladstone) February 18, 2021
Two multi millionaires sit down to discuss poor people and how to sack them , produce more on zero contracts, get value for money out of them— billanddee90 (@billanddee90) February 19, 2021
Hilarious.— Simon Jack (@BBCSimonJack) February 18, 2021
.... if they genuinely believe this to be the right approach it explains why they’ve got things so wrong over the last 12 months— andy slee (@andyslee65) February 19, 2021
What some considered to be a PR stunt of poor taste, featured a discussion between Sunak and Ramsay. In the first of a series of 'In Conversation' meetings with industry leaders, the celebrity chef has heaped pressure on Sunak to extend the VAT holiday and furlough for struggling hospitality businesses at his Budget.
Sunak was condemned for overlooking the “real people” of UK business in favour of celebrities.
Consulting everyone from TV I see. Shame about the real people. pic.twitter.com/kcCEcFxpZm— chinnyhill10 (@chinnyhill10) February 18, 2021
Unfortunately "celebs" are somehow viewed as experts.— Will (@willorwillnot88) February 19, 2021
Sunak is expected to extend business rates relief and the furlough scheme into the summer, as well as an extension of the year-long business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The Chancellor is set to make detailed announcements in his Budget next month.