Clive Watson, boss of the City Pub Company, has slammed the barrage of rail strikes due this week as ‘mean-spirited’. He said the walkouts could be the ‘end of the road’ for businesses still struggling in the wake of the pandemic.

The RMT union has scheduled strikes for December 13-14 and 16-17 – which includes Friday and Saturday nights.

Watson is the latest hospitality chief to wade into the row after complaints from Punch Taverns and Mitchells & Butlers. He said: ’It’s the week you really make your money through the festive period.

A strike day can hit business by 20 per cent or more. But when strikes are back-to-back and there’s disruption throughout the week, it can be more significant.’

Watson, who has appeared in the reality show Made In Chelsea alongside his daughters Lucy and Tiffany, called for a ‘Christmas truce’ similar to the downing of arms between British and German soldiers for a day in the First World War to play football.

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