Morrisons’ chief executive has inadvertently fuelled a conspiracy theory that the supermarket is faking its balance sheet to pressure workers into getting vaccinated.
The Big 4 grocer last week revealed plans to slash sick pay for self-isolating unjabbed workers, to reign in its “biblical costs”.
In the past six months, it has spent £41 million on Covid-19 protection and seen profits slide 43 per cent.
However, a YouTube video posted four days ago, which has racked up 40,000 views and over 3000 likes, claimed these results were a lie.
In support, it showed a clip of Morrisons boss David Potts calling Covid “the gift that keeps on giving”.
Although the statement appeared to be ironic, the YouTuber claimed this showed the company had faked its plummeting profits as an excuse to encourage staff vaccinations.
He also pointed to Potts’ 2020 pay package of £4.2 million, although this was later rejected by shareholders.
The clip of Potts had been sent round internally as a “thank you” and was presumably leaked by an employee.
A torrent of Twitter complaints followed the YouTube video, with abusive messages levelled at Potts and vows to boycott the grocer.
In reality, the message from Potts – obtained in full by the Grocery Gazette – was filmed well before Morrisons’ half-year results this month, having been sent to employees on November 16 2020.
The “gift that keeps on giving” remark likely refers, ironically, to Britain’s second lockdown, which began on November 5.
Potts went on to tell staff that “society properly relies on everything you’re doing… as key workers”.
Morrisons declined to comment on the allegations.