Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

Meta: Brexit bombshell: Jamie Oliver blames collapse of restaurants on Brexit | UK | News

Around 1,000 jobs were lost when all 25 outlets of Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen collapsed around three months ago. Speaking in BBC Radio 4’s new programme, Jamie Oliver: A Life Through Food, the celebrity chef claimed people had been eating out less since the 2016 referendum result. He said: “The world changed, the high street changed, it started to become uberfied, our competitors changed, and we looked less different to them as we did in the beginning.

“Then, when there’s that chain reaction, throw a bit of Brexit in, say the B word, confidence goes and people’s habits changed.”

Responses to Mr Oliver’s Brexit claim were not taken lightly, Conservative MP James Cleverly lashed out on Twitter claiming the demise of his restaurant chain was down to the poor quality and presentation of food.

He said: “This isn’t about Brexit, I recently eat at a Jamie’s restaurant and the quality of the food just didn’t match the price.

“The staff were friendly but the presentation was poor and the food was bland.”

READ MORE: Brexit news: Arch remainer Gina Miller vows to fight a no-deal exit

Mr Oliver said: “In a way, there is a massive sense of relief because I gave it my best, and I thought I could fix it and I thought I was clever enough and big enough to fix it.

“I’m fairly sure that I’ve learnt some very valuable lessons that will allow me to do, possibly, some extraordinary things in the next 20 years in a very, very different way, and I don’t know what that is yet.”

He claimed the collapse of his business ruined his birthday in May.

He added: “I actually, weirdly, have a sense of gratitude for having seen the extraordinary best of it, and having had to live through the real worst of it, and that’s physically, mentally and financially.

“But, you know, I nearly got there, but just didn’t quite make it this time.”

Mr Oliver put £13million of his own money into the chains to try and tackle the collapse but the company still lost £29million in just one year.

Following this, Mr Oliver said he now intends on focusing his time on lobbying the Prime Minister on children’s health and nutrition.

He has employed a team of experts for the task of lobbying ministers and Boris Johnson.

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