‘Multi-millionaire Jamie Oliver should personally pay off £80,000 debt restaurant owes to Newham’ says councillor
An East London councillor has called on Jamie Oliver to personally see that the £80,000 debt owed to Newham council is repaid following the collapse of Jamie’s Italian.
The TV chef’s failed restaurant chain is currently in the final stages of administration, which will see 90per cent of the debt owed by the chain to unsecured creditors – including 19 local councils – wiped out.
According to documents published by KPMG, which is overseeing the process, Jamie’s Italian owed local authorities a total of £1.44 million in unpaid business rates and taxes when it collapsed in 2019, The Times reports.
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£80,000 of the unpaid debt is owed to Newham council, where half of the children live in poverty, and which has seen 13 of its 18 youth centres close over the last decade due to budget cuts.
Jamie’s Italian owes a further £55,000 to Tower Hamlets council, £108,000 to Liverpool city council, and £90,000 to Manchester city council.
Stratford and New Town Cllr Joshua Garfield told MyLondon he hopes Jamie Oliver will “see to it personally that these bills are paid”.
“The hospitality industry is one of the backbones of our high streets and it is a great shame when any restaurant has to close,” he said.
“Jamie Oliver has spent his career campaigning admirably on healthy food for children and against food poverty; he knows the value of childhood health and nutrition.
“In Newham, we fund free school meals for children in the face of devastating funding cuts to local government.
“Mr Oliver will appreciate how important business rates are to fill the gap left by the government to fund vital public services and tackle food poverty. I hope he’ll see to it personally that these bills are paid.”
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The 46-year-old TV chef has an estimated personal fortune of more than £200 million. The Times reports Oliver’s holding company, which runs his publishing business, made a £7 million profit last year.
Jamie’s Italian boasted 42 restaurants across the UK during the early 2010s. However bad customer reviews, discontent among staff and a drop in people eating out led to the chain’s demise. Its closure in 2019 resulted in the loss of more than a thousand jobs.
Less than £600,000 of the money owed to unsecured trade creditors such as Newham Council will be recovered, according to the latest progress report from KPMG.
The report also shows Jamie’s Italian owed more than £80 million in total after it collapsed, with the majority owed to banks and Jamie Oliver’s holding company.
The celebrity chef majority-owns the holding company, and as it is a secured creditor it will recover at least £1.5 million of the owed money.
KPMG said the administration process is due to conclude in May this year. Jamie Oliver did not respond to requests for comment.
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