Asma Khan Halal Restaurants Darjeeling Express Sadiq Khan London Mayor Omnicron Government

London Mayor & Asma Khan urge PM to ensure hospitality ‘survival’

Asma Khan Halal Restaurants Darjeeling Express Sadiq Khan London Mayor Omicron Government

The government is spineless & the Chancellor is absent. Once again hospitality is being treated like the naughty child punished in the corner – Asma Khan

A Halal restaurateur co-signed a letter sent yesterday by the Mayor of London urging the UK government to do more for businesses “already suffering” due to the Omicron-variant outbreak.

Restaurant owner Asma Khan has joined London Mayor Sadiq Khan in calling on the Prime Minister for “urgent support” of restaurants “to ensure their survival and save jobs”.

UK Hospitality has forecast that takings will be down by as much as 40% for December, usually the most lucrative month for venues.

Signed by a number of industry heavyweights, the letter is asking for “additional support” as Boris Johnson prepares to enforce his restrictive “Plan B” measures.

Sadiq Khan reminded Mr Johnson that “businesses in London in the retail, hospitality, and cultural sectors are already suffering”.

Written on behalf of the London Covid Business Forum, the letter further revealed that a 25% surge in Christmas bookings had already been reportedly cancelled.

The letter warned the government: “We currently face a ‘worst of all worlds’ whereby businesses are being very adversely affected; but without the benefit of support that existed during the previous total and partial lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.”

A 26% drop in TfL usage, which has “seen a significant drop in footfall across the city”, is expected to see taking in UK hospitality is be down by “as much as 40% for December”.

Restaurant need support ‘to ensure their survival and save jobs’

In a recent post on Instagram, Asma, owner of award-winning restaurant Darjeeling Express, was critical of a “spineless” government and an “absent” Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, for treating hospitality as a “naughty child [being] punished in the corner”.

She said: “We are haemorrhaging money as customers cancel bookings. I am grateful that my place will make it through this winter – but many other places may not survive. People working in hospitality need support from the government.”

Asma also added: “London’s retail, hospitality and culture businesses are, once again, facing a wave of losses and cancellations due to the rise in COVID cases.

“They need urgent support. We’ve written to the government outlining the steps it must take now to ensure their survival and save jobs.”

Including full business relief being reintroduced until March 2022 with a VAT relief extension, these steps are also calling for more funds for businesses affected by the new guidance.

The letter concluded: “The Government acted quickly during the last winter lockdown with additional support for businesses,” before laying out its recommended “measures to support hospitality, retail and cultural businesses, and their supply chains during this challenging period”.

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