THE owner of a Bradford city centre bar has said the Prime Minister "should have just not bothered", after giving 'wet' pubs a £1,000 grant to see them through December.

Boris Johnson announced the payment today in a statement, which will be made to pubs which do not serve food, "recognising how hard they’ve been hit by Covid-19 in what is typically their busiest month".

The announcement has drawn criticism from industry bosses and opposition MPs, with the payment being called "derisory" and a "massive kick in the teeth".

Keith Wildman, owner of The Record Cafe on North Parade, said he would rather pubs be allowed to open, "acknowledging and recognising the hard work and money we've spent to make our venues safe".

He said: “Without wanting to sound ungrateful, it doesn’t even begin to cover the costs of the disruption, especially in December.

“It feels like they should have just not bothered; it’s nowhere near enough to cover rent, bills, staff pay or pensions.

“I feel a frustration because hospitality staff have been on the frontline since the first lockdown ended. We have worked hard and spent a lot of money making our venues safe and have worked hard to enforce the rules, more than some other industries.

“We have the most restrictions and have gone above and beyond, we should be acknowledged not closed off the back of the flimsiest evidence.

“It almost feels like there is an anti-alcohol agenda, it’s difficult to explain.”

Mr Wildman said he could serve food at his bar but the limited numbers mean it would not be viable, and he "doesn't feel like hospitality is on a level playing field" with other industries.

Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, said the £1,000 payment is "not worthy of being called a sticking plaster".

He said: "The lack of meaningful support from the Government is a massive kick in the teeth for those who worked so hard to make their businesses safe and took additional measures to make their businesses safe in the latest lockdown to try and survive what has been an apocalyptic year for hospitality."

James Calder, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers, added: "Today’s £1,000 grant is a derisory gesture for wet led pubs that have struggled throughout this crisis.

"During the Christmas period many of these pubs would expect to take £1,000 in a couple of hours.

"These pubs never benefitted from the much-lauded hospitality VAT cuts, which don’t include alcohol, and the Eat Out To Help Out scheme which only included food.

"The Government needs to urgently rethink its support measures and provide full financial grants, business rates holidays and end the proposed changes to Small Breweries Relief to help the sector."