Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has re-entered the debate on coronavirus suppression, arguing much of the science supporting lockdown is inconclusive, and lauding the “cool as ice” Swedish approach.

Martin said amid a polarised debate, the truth was “hidden in a fog by a lack of reliable information”, suggesting in the political and tribal conflict, “heavily doctored evidence has become the norm”.

He argued the government’s mantra to “follow the science” was meaningless when scientists did not agree with one another.

His latest missive comes as the pub company was accused The Guardian of failing to follow social distancing in one of its pubs.

Martin wrote: “As anyone running a business knows, experts and scientists promote all sorts of conflicting opinions and the true gift of leadership is to use common sense and debate to sift the wheat from the chaff. The same applies to politics: to govern is to choose, according to the political adage.”

He cited now discounted science on diesel cars and dairy products as proof of how unreliable official advice can turn out to be.

While backing measures such as social distancing and hand-washing, Martin said there was no evidence lockdowns work, adding they cause “massive collateral damage, devastating economies, inducing mental illness, reducing treatments for serious conditions and interrupting education”.

Having ordered lockdown, he said the government was now taking the right approach by easing restrictions and attempting a return to normal life. 

He added: “As in medicine, business, sport, war or any other field of human endeavour, it’s easy to make the wrong move and it’s essential to zig zag to the right conclusion.

“Most let’s-go-outers believe that the government zigged in the wrong direction during lockdown - so now it’s time to zag. Eventually, the fog will lift and we’ll know for sure who’s right.”