The Apprentice’s Claude Littner has come under fire after he told a Manchester-based restaurant owner to “suck it up” during a debate about the city’s Tier 3 lockdown restrictions on Good Morning Britain.
The millionaire businessman appeared on the ITV show on Wednesday alongside restaurateur Simon Wood to discuss the latest restrictions placed on Manchester.
The mayor savaged ministers for failing to provide the minimum sum of £65million needed to avoid a “winter of real hardship” under Tier 3 restrictions, which he said would plunge the poorest into poverty and homelessness.
During the discussion on GMB, Lord Sugar’s aide told Simon that while he “understood” the impact the tighter restrictions would have on businesses, he should “just suck it up”.
“I understand that small businesses are beyond struggling and of course that has an impact for their employees,” Claude said.
“But I think we’re in a situation, an ever-changing dynamic situation, I think you’ve got to just suck it up.
“It’s horrible, it’s difficult, it’s impossible, but you’ve just got to do it and hopefully we’ll get through this very quickly and your businesses will still be intact.”
But Simon, who kickstarted his career on MasterChef, fired back: “Is that what I’m supposed to tell my team when I can’t pay them, suck it up?”
Claude replied: “I’m being realistic here. It’s a very difficult situation, you have to do the very best you can for yourself, for your staff, for your families.”
“Which is what we’ve been doing since March,” Simon hit back.
GMB host Kate Garraway then asked Claude what he meant by “suck it up”.
Claude replied: “Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t know we’ve been doing our best since March. Of course you have. So has everybody else. The virus is going bananas.”
Claude’s comments did not go down well on Twitter...
The government has been accused of “waging war” against Greater Manchester after the region’s mayor found out from the media that it had been put in Tier 3 lockdown.
Boris Johnson has imposed tough coronavirus restrictions on Greater Manchester after talks with the region ended in acrimony and chaotic scenes.
Andy Burnham was giving a press conference on Tuesday when he discovered the government had refused to meet his demand for £65m to support the livelihoods of people in the region as they face the closure of pubs, bars, bookmakers and other premises.
“It is brutal. This is no way to run the country in a national crisis,” the mayor said.
“Grinding people down. Try to get people to accept the least they can get away with.”