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The co-founder of Risk Capital Partners branded the bosses of the big pub companies “cowards” for not defending the interests of the sector.

He said: “Where are the CEOs and chairs? We haven’t heard or seen from one of them throughout the entire episode, it’s been left to nonentities like me to speak up relentlessly week in week out, trying to make the case for our freedoms and to be able to keep our businesses solvent and stop an avalanche of job losses. The only one who has spoken out is Tim Martin, the rest of them are cowards. They don’t want to get a bit of stick from people on social media.

“They need to grow up a bit and defend the interest of their staff and stakeholders. If I was a major shareholder of any of those large pub groups who’s voices have been heard nowhere, I would be standing up at the AGM and asking for an explanation.”

He said simply relying on the trade associations was “bullshit”. “If you want to reach out and influence individual MPS and ministers and the public as a whole, they need to be seen. This weak idea that you can rely on Kate Nicholls to do everything is ludicrous. She’s done a great job, but you can’t delegate everything in life. Leadership means standing up and defending the interests of your people.”

To hear more of Luke’s views on the restrictions and challenges facing the hospitality sector, watch the video above.

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