The United Kingdom first introduced lockdown measures in March in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and avoid overwhelming the national health service. To keep businesses afloat, Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced unprecedented stimulus injections to support furloughed workers.
Rishi Sunak has been roundly ridiculed on social media for a tweet on Tuesday where he hails the reopening of pubs in the UK.
Following the announcement by the prime minister that pubs and restaurants would be reopening from 4 July, the chancellor tweeted that he was excited to “get back to the pub”, with a picture of himself accompanying the message.
The photo he posted, however, showed the chancellor, who himself does not drink alcohol, giving a thumbs up to a Maxwells Electronics shop, which sells home equipment such as kettles and toasters.
Social media was quick to point out the disconnect.
That’s a toaster, Rishi
— Jack Duncan🌹🏳️🌈 (@JackDunc1) June 23, 2020
Word of advice – that’s not a pub.
— Mike W 🔶️🖤 #FPHD (@mikew4EU) June 23, 2020
pubs don’t sell kettles what kind of pub is this
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) June 23, 2020
How would he know?
— Dan McGrath (@DanMcGrath48) June 23, 2020
One Twitter user asked the chancellor if the lockdown had caused him to forget what a pub is.
It’s been so long, you’ve forgotten what a pub is?
— Rob 🇬🇧🌹📈 (@sadbuffet) June 23, 2020
Others struck a less playful tone, criticising the chancellor for celebrating the government’s move and possibly putting the public in danger, with some referencing the number of deaths in the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 60k deaths, sit down
— •𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗔• (@agirlcalledlina) June 23, 2020
tens of thousands of bereaved families, tens of thousands left without an income thanks to you. big thumbs up, all welcome round table 30 at *squints at photo* Lakeland?
— LES MONUMENT (@wariotifo) June 23, 2020
I’m literally fighting back tears & struggling to eat my lunch right now due to financial worries because you’ve excluded me & millions of others from your schemes & haven’t acted on the @CommonsTreasury report.But yeah, you enjoy a pint when the pubs open back up😞👎🏻 #ExcludedUK
— Jodie McCallum (@jodiepresents) June 23, 2020
Some were happy to hear the news, however, and joined in with Sunak’s cheerful response.
I’ll drink yours Rishi – anything for a good mate
— Mayor of West Yorks (@Colin00007) June 23, 2020
The message from the chancellor comes as Boris Johnson announced in the House of Commons that a number of businesses will be able to open up.
Pubs, hotels, libraries, restaurants, cinemas, outdoor leisure facilities will be able to open on 4 July, provided social distancing measures are maintained. Indoor gyms and swimming pools will remain closed.