Chef turned campaigner Jamie Oliver has attacked the government over plans to delay its crackdown on two-for-one food deals and pre-watershed junk food ads
Chef Jamie Oliver has threatened to stage a protest outside Downing Street if the government scraps key parts of its childhood obesity strategy.
He says his protest will take place on Friday (May 20) unless the government U-turns again.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to postpone plans to ban ‘buy one, get one free’ deals on foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
A proposed ban on junk food ads online and before the 9pm TV watershed is also set to be delayed.
Oliver, a prominent anti-junk food campaigner, spoke of his disappointment and anger in a video posted to Instagram.
Others, however, argue that banning so-called BOGOF deals would put struggling households under even more financial pressure at a time when food prices are rising sharply.
What has Jamie Oliver said about the government’s child obesity strategy?
Jamie Oliver has hit out at the government’s plans to postpone central aspects of its strategy for tackling child obesity. He expressed particular dismay at the decision to delay pre-watershed advertising for sugary snacks for at least a year.
On Twitter, the 46-year-old – who first rose to fame with the hit BBC series The Naked Chef in the late 1990s – said that restricting junk food was especially important in tackling child poverty.
The planned ban is now expected to come into effect from January 2024.
“This is a wasted opportunity and it starts to erode the whole obesity strategy – which at some point looked progressive and world leading written down, but is falling apart when it comes to acting on these policies,” he said.
In a subsequent Instagram video addressed to Boris Johnson, Oliver gave the Prime Minister “36 hours” to reverse its “mistake”.
Otherwise, he said, he would organise a 15-minute “Eton mess” protest outside Downing Street.
“It’s upset me and all the people who have campaigned for child health in these incredibly tough times where our kids have been most affected since Covid-19,” Oliver says in the video, adding of his planned protest: “We’re going to bring Eton mess – that great dessert invented in the very privileged place that is Eton school, where our prime minister went.”
However, opponents of the planned crackdown on BOGOF meal deals say banning them would hit poorer consumers hardest.
With inflation now running at 9%, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has warned of “apocalyptic” food price rises in the months ahead.
How much is Jamie Oliver worth?
Jamie Oliver is reported to be worth more than £240million. As well as his high-profile TV career, he has sold tens of millions of books worldwide, making him the best-selling British non-fiction author since records began.
His YouTube channel, meanwhile, has more than five-and-a-half million subscribers and nearly 800 million total views. He has been campaigning against child poverty since 2005, when he launched a drive to improve the quality of school dinners.
Where does Jamie Oliver live?
Jamie Oliver lives with his family in Spains Hall, a 16th-century mansion in Finchingfield, Essex. The family moved into the property – which comes with a 70-acre estate including a swimming pool and tennis court – in the summer of 2019.
The chef married his wife Juliette – who has featured prominently in his TV shows and is perhaps better known to viewers as Jools – in July 2000. The couple have five children together.