Minister slams Worrall Thompson's attack on poor restaurant service

11 May 2006
Minister slams Worrall Thompson's attack on poor restaurant service

The new Economic Secretary to the Treasury Ed Balls today told celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson to "stick to cooking" after the BBC presenter called for the minimum wage to be scrapped for restaurant workers.

Worrall Thompson yesterday hit out at eastern Europeans and other foreign workers over "s***" service in UK restaurants.

He also suggested ditching the minimum wage in favour of tips to encourage waiters to do a better job.

But in his first appearance at the despatch box at Treasury questions, Balls, often dubbed Chancellor Gordon Brown's right-hand man, attacked the remarks.

"I saw this morning in the newspapers the comments of Mr Worrall Thompson who actually said it would be a good idea to abolish the minimum wage for restaurant workers in London," he said.

"Personally, I think he presents Saturday Kitchen very well but I think he should stick to cooking.

Ball said it would be the wrong direction to take to have restaurant workers in the country denied the minimum wage and fairness at work.

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By Katherine Haddon at PA News

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