Manchester pub owner ‘bars’ Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford from his venues

He's also banned members of Sage, ITV's political editor and an infectious disease expert

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 28th December 2021

A Manchester pub owner has ‘barred’ Scottish and Welsh First Ministers Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford from his venues – despite having no pubs in Scotland and only a handful in Wales.

JW Lees Managing Director William Lees-Jones, who runs a chain of pubs mostly spread across the north west, has kicked out at the leaders of the devolved nations over restrictions introduced in both Scotland and Wales to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The pub chain owner tweeted that he would be banning both leaders as a ‘Christmas gift to the UK this year’, in a tongue-in-cheek post shared to social media.

He also threw in a host of other notable figures, tweeting a ‘banned’ list that also included members of the government’s Sage advisory committee, infectious disease expert Neil Ferguson. and ITV’s lead political journalist, Robert Peston.

He tweeted: “The @JWLeesBrewery Christmas gift to the UK this year is that we’re barring the following from all of our pubs – @NicolaSturgeon @MarkDrakeford @SusanMichie @Zubhaque @Peston @neil_ferguson.”


The tweet was accompanied by a gif of a man being removed from a pub by force and thrown into the gutter.

The Christmas holiday period is a key time for hospitality, with many businesses making the bulk of their profits for the year during this period.


In recent days, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have all brought in new measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 – meaning that England is the only country in the UK likely to have clubs open on New Year’s Eve this year.

In Scotland, nightclubs have been closed and bars and restaurants have reintroduced social distancing and table service measures.

Over in Wales, meanwhile, the rule of six is in play once again from Boxing Day in pubs, cinemas and restaurants and social distancing rules have now been reintroduced.


Read more: New Year’s Eve in England will go ahead with no restrictions, it’s confirmed

And in Northern Ireland, new restrictions have also been introduced with dancing now banned and table service returning to hospitality venues. Wales has also been under strict restrictions, as cases continue to rise due to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

England, however, remains under the same restrictions as it was before Christmas – with the Prime Minister confirming yesterday that he would not be introducing any new measures ahead of New Year’s Eve.

The Health Secretary, however, has advised people in England to remain ‘cautious’ and to celebrate outside ‘where possible.’

Feature image – Geograph / Wikimedia Commons