Wetherspoon founder Sir Tim Martin wins fifth retraction from newspaper

Wetherspoon boss and founder Sir Tim Martin has forced The Independent into a fifth retraction over claims he failed to look after staff during the pandemic.

The Exeter based entrepreneur is well-known for his public views in Brexit and there was controversy over when it was announced he was to receive a knighthood.

The morning the pub chain released a Stock Market statement into coverage of the firm in The Independent newspaper.

The firm wrote to The Independent on 29 December 2023 requesting a correction to an article that had repeated inaccuracies made in previous articles.

The Independent has corrected the inaccurate statements and published the following clarification after the article:

“This article was amended on 10 January 2024. It previously said that Mr Martin had suggested his 40,000 staff should go to work at Tesco amid pandemic uncertainty, but this was inaccurate. In fact, Mr Martin had said that if staff were offered a job in a supermarket, he would understand if they wanted to take it. Wetherspoon has also asked that we clarify that all its staff were paid by Wetherspoon up until the point of pub closures, after which staff received furlough pay on an uninterrupted basis without any delay to payment. We are happy to do so.”

Tim Martin said: In 2020, the Independent newspaper made a number of false claims about Wetherspoon which it corrected, following representations from Wetherspoon’s legal department.

“Unfortunately, apparently unaware of the previous corrections, the Independent repeated the same false allegations in December 2023.

“We are pleased that the Independent has now published a fifth correction. We are glad to be able to help slow learners at the Independent.”

An article in the Independent newspaper, of 28 December 2023, was headlined “Brexit- backing boss to be knighted in New Year Honours”.

According to Wetherspoon the article contained a number of inaccurate and misleading statements relating to Wetherspoon’s and its chairman, Mr Tim Martin’s responses to the closure of pubs in March 2020, as a result of the Covid -19 pandemic.