A TORY minister sought to clear up the confusion over what constitutes a ‘substantial meal’ — a Cornish pasty but only if it’s on a plate with ‘salad or chips’.
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick gave his definition of the law before last orders was called in all of Liverpool’s pubs and bars that do not serve food as the city enters tier three lockdown for at least four weeks from today.
He said: ‘It doesn’t mean a packet of crisps or a plate of chips or a bag of pork scratchings.
‘If you would go into that pub and order a plated meal, at the table, of a Cornish pasty with chips or side salad or whatever comes with it, then that’s a normal meal.’
Around 970 pubs in metropolitan Liverpool are affected by the crackdown.
Mr Jenrick’s comments on Nick Ferrari’s LBC radio show sparked a huge online reaction. ‘Every pub in the UK needs to start selling pasties, they are classed as a substantial meal,’ tweeted one person. ‘Loophole alert!’
John Chandler asked: ‘Who on Earth has a pasty with a side salad?’ And @GillMid1posted: ‘The Irish government stated that a substantial meal equalled food that came to at least €9. So there were no discussions about pasties etc! Problem solved.’
Others pointed out the problems pasties have caused for the Tories in the past — including the failed attempt by George Osborne to introduce a ‘pasty tax’ in his 2012 Budget. ‘What is it with Tory Chancellors and pasties?’ posted PJ Fitzpatrick.
At the Neptune in Liverpool, landlord Les O’Grady said pubs would ‘do what they have to’ to stay open. Jack Walker, at the Love Lane Brewery, said rules were ‘clear as mud’. One pub was advertising: ‘Soup of the Day: Carling £2.80.’