A BRADFORD fish and chips restaurant has responded following the backlash it faced yesterday - where pictures appeared to show "hundreds" of people outside its flagship store, hoping to cash-in on a special offer - arguing that the photos do not "tell the full story" of what happened.

Mother Hubbard's, a well-established Bradford chain which opened its first branch on Ingleby Road in 1972, saw large crowds gather outside its Legrams Lane branch yesterday, after it announced that it was selling fish and chips for just 45p.

A number of people sent pictures of the scene to the Telegraph & Argus, expressing concern at a lack of social distancing.

A video sent to the T&A by Nicola Khan seemed to show customers huddled together as they queued up.

Commenting on the scene, she said: "Absolutely shocking, people queuing like sardines, no social distancing, no masks - and all for 45p fish and chips."

The video did also seem to show metal barriers in place, which were put up by the restaurant in an effort to facilitate sensible queuing outside the store.

But one passer-by added that scenes like the one outside Mother Hubbard's are "definitely a contributing factor" in rising infection rates.

Today, Mother Hubbard's responded to the controversy, claiming that although the scene did look "chaotic", the restaurant "tried [its] best" to manage things "professionally."

A spokesperson from Mother Hubbard's also argued that markings were made on the ground in order to separate people and enforce social distancing, while masks and hand sanitiser were also handed out to those in the queue.

The spokesperson said: "Our priority is to keep the public and our staff safe, that is always our intention.

"In the videos and pictures, the scene did look chaotic, but they don't tell the full story.

"We had professional barriers in place, we had markings on the ground so people could socially distance, we were giving out masks and hand sanitiser to the customers and only two to three people were allowed inside the store at one time.

"We can understand why people have perceived the scenes negatively, but we tried our best to manage things.

"If you look at the government's eat out to help out scheme, no restaurants in Bradford had the same measures that we had in place yesterday.

"We saw long queues outside restaurants across Bradford during that scheme. None of them went to the extent of having barriers or handing out masks, but we went to the next level and we prepared professionally.

"We invested a lot of money in keeping people safe."

The spokesperson also explained the reasoning behind the 45p offer.

"In 1972, Mother Hubbard's was opened by Coronation Street stars Bernard Youens and Jean Alexander, who played characters Stan and Hilda Ogden, and it sold fish and chips for just 45p", they said.

"So, at our flagship store on Legrams Lane, we decided to give something back to the people of Bradford and charge them our original 1972 price for fish and chips.

"We made this decision in the name of community spirit - everyone has had a tough time due to COVID-19, so we wanted to give something back.

"It was all about bringing back the nostalgia of 1972 and supporting the local community.

"Mother Hubbard's is growing very fast and we are franchising throughout the UK. We are a famous Bradford brand and we are hoping to continue expanding."