Brexiteer and Wetherspoon pub boss Tim Martin set to received knighthood | UK | News

December 27, 2023
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Wetherspoon founder and pro-Brexit campaigner Tim Martin is reportedly set to receive a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

The 68-year-old will be recognised for his services to business, reports MailOnline. It comes after a campaign from Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch.

The outspoken Martin built the pub chain from the ground up, reportedly naming the company after a teacher who said he would “never be a success”. He became a leading voice in support of leaving the EU in the run up to the 2016 referendum.

Badenoch is said to have pushed for the nomination behind-the-scenes. She is said to have argued it is “wrong” to ignore leading Brexiteers who run successful businesses when it comes to receiving honours.

Leading pro-Brexit figures have hailed the decision. Nigel Farage called Martin a “Brexit legend” saying he is a “larger than life character, an entrepreneur to his fingertips and great company”.

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “I am delighted to hear this as Tim not only was brave enough to take up the political cudgels in support of the majority of the British people but he also brings daily cheer to people’s lives through the good value provided by his pubs. A true British paladin.”

Martin was the son Guinnes marketing executive. He opened his first pub in 1979, originally calling it Martin’s Free House. However he changed its name to Wetherspoons a year later.

The JD Wetherspoon business was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1992. It now runs more than 800 pubs and hotels, having carved a reputation for good value food and drink.

As well as running the succesful business, Martin is well known for his outspoken political views. He has been critical of politicians for treating pubs as “milk cows” for taxing them more than supermarkets.

He also clashed with the Government during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming people were more likely to catch the virus at home than at a pub. It is however his views on Brexit that are most widely known.

In 2016 he donated £200,000 to Vote Leave. He later lobbied Theresa May to back a no-deal Brexit before throwing his support to Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

In 2018, Martin ditch French Champagne and German wheat beers in favour of alternatives from Britain or Australia.

The Cabinet Office would not comment ahead of the New Years Honours list being published this weekend. A spokesman said: “It would be in inappropriate to comment on speculation regarding potential honours recipients. The honours list will be published shortly in the usual way.”



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