Ex-Pizza Express boss dismantles Labour minimum wage plan ‘desperate headline seeking’

Labour’s wage plans are ‘headline seeking’ says Luke Johnson

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Former Pizza Express tsar Luke Johnson has clashed with Labour Party MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle over moves to increase the national minimum wage. The pair joined presenter Naga Munchetty on BBC Radio 5 to discuss the Labour Party’s approach to the lowest-paid workers. It comes after Sir Keir Starmer faced a senior resignation from his shadow cabinet amid calls for the opposition to back a £15 minimum wage.

Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 5: “The fact of the matter is I am afraid this is just desperate headlines by the Labour Party.

“They don’t understand business or economics.

“I will give you an example, the idea that you could increase minimum wages overnight by 68 percent and not having raging inflation.

“I will give you an example of an industry that would collapse if you introduced a minimum wage of £15 an hour, I am not in this business, by the way, care homes.”

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“We already have something of a crisis in care homes if you increase the minimum wage to £15 an hour I would imagine a large proportion of the country’s care homes could no longer function,” he added.

“Charities and the public sector are a huge employer of people on minimum wage at around £10 per hour, how are they going to cope?

“The truth of the matter is you should let markets adjust which they are doing.

“Businesses need time and endless new laws, and desperate publicity stunts by the opposition when industries are recovering from lockdown.”

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He continued: “Increasing costs like this across the board in a unilateral way which national minimum wage increases will do, would lead to bankruptcy and closures.

“Of course, Labour specialise in all that so I expect they would be very happy.”

It comes after Keir Starmer was blasted by Jeremy Kyle over the Labour leader’s weak response to the left “hijacking” the party’s conference in Brighton.

The TalkRADIO presenter read out the Labour leader’s response to the shock resignation of the Corbynite shadow minister Andy MacDonald on-air.

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Mr Kyle told TalkRADIO: “Frankly we need a good opposition. Keir Starmer spent almost 15 months trying to bring this ship to one and it has all gone wrong.

“He has arrived at the Labour Party conference Angela Rayner as deputy has called all the Tory frontbench scum and slagged them off, then they got into a big row about cervixes and woman, I am not getting involved.”

“And then one of his shadow cabinet ministers resigned today,” continued Mr Kyle, “This is his response to the left of the party hijacking day one, tell me whether this guy could be the Prime Minister.

“How do you feel Sir Keir about somebody resigning, ‘my focus and that of the whole party is on winning the next election.’ Patently not on the same planet as the rest of us.”

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