Boris Johnson’s recent statements on Question Time, in which he condemned UK Uncut for causing “tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage” during the occupation of Fortnum & Mason have been brought into further question after the department store released a statement outlining their intended insurance claim.

A spokesperson for shop, which holds a royal warrant, refused Scrapbook’s requests for a breakdown of both physical damage and loss of earnings, saying simply:

“Following the events of 26th March, we can confirm we have made a claim for £85,000 to our insurance company”

However previous information released to the Independent described physical damage as “minimal” but put loss of trade at “about £80,000”. It may therefore have been unwise for Boris Johnson to claim, once more, in response to a London Assembly written question:

“Fortnum & Mason estimates the cost of the damage done at tens of thousands of pounds in addition to lost earnings of £80,000.”

The Mayor and his Tory-supporting grocers seem to be having significant difficulty in getting their stories straight.

These apparent contradictions may be of significant interest to the London Assembly and Fortnum’s insurers.

  1. Matt Zarb-Cousin says:

    It’s important to make the distinction between ‘damage’ and ‘lost earnings’. We learnt that lost earnings amounted to £80,000. The £85,000 claim from Fortnums to their insurers contradicts Boris’ assertion that UK Uncut caused ‘tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage’. He made a separate point about lost earnings.

    Either Boris has lied to make a political point, or neither Fortnums nor the London Assembly have got their story straight.

  2. I know I’m being pedantic here, but UK Uncut did no physical damage. The UK Uncut action was inside F&M. As far as I’m aware, one box of chocolates was knocked over, and Uncutters quickly picked it up and put it back on the shelf. That was it.

    I don’t condemn or condone the Black Bloc action that took place in the street outside F&M on the 26th March, but not to make a distinction between the two groups in articles like this just reinforces widely-held misconceptions about what happened that day. (The Metropolitan Police’s Twitter feed didn’t help matters by hash-tagging every tweet mentioning violence that day with “#ukuncut”!) Not challenging the public perception of UK Uncut as “mindless vandals” just encourages people like Johnson to pull wild accusations out of his arse and stir up public antipathy toward the anti-cuts movement.

    Anyway, I’m being pedantic. Loving the blog otherwise. x

  3. So total is £85k, of which £80k is lost trade. That leave £5k, of which nearly all must have been caused by damage outside which was nothing to do with UKUncut who were inside at the time (sounds like a good alibi to me…..)

  4. Guido ‘In law it is called “damages” for a reason.’ I’m stupid can you explain the reason to make it clear to us why ‘loss of earnings’ (what you might get) is the same as physical damage.

  5. £85k is indeed minimal, unless you’re talking about the earring budget of your average protesting unemployed jealous hipster.

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