Jamie Oliver slams government for HFSS U-turn amid plans for ‘Eton mess’ protest

Jamie Oliver has called on Boris Johnson to rethink last week’s government U-turn on HFSS marketing restrictions, delaying bans on multi-buy deals and pre-watershed TV advertising until October 2023.

Oliver wrote to the PM accusing him of failing to meet his responsibility to childrens’ health after the delayed HFSS restrictions due to concerns of its affect during the cost of living crisis

Speaking to LBC’s James O’Brien on Wednesday, Oliver went on to say that the PM “hasn’t got the backbone and spine to complete anything”.

Oliver’s open letter to Boris Johnson accused Johnson of throwing away his “right to claim England is world-leading in its policies to promote children’s health”.

“You have told us time and again that your government would deliver on its strategy, including ending junk food advertising to children, only to u-turn after the law has already passed.

Oliver pointed out that “child health has worsened over the pandemic”, adding that 1 in 4 children leave primary school with obesity.

He also highlighted that people who live in lower income areas are twice as likely to be obese, accusing Johnson of “delaying policies that are both vital for levelling up and popular with 74% of the public”.

READ MORE: HFSS breakdown: How will the government’s delay affect the industry?

The letter – which can be seen in full here – was signed by a number of leading food industry experts and health organisations, including The Food Foundation and Obesity Health Alliance.

The television chef and healthy food campaigner later took to Instagram and gave the government 36 hours to “do the right thing”, calling on the public to join him and protest outside the prime minister’s office at 12:30pm on Friday 20 May.

In an Instagram post, Oliver stood outside Downing Street and said he had been “thinking long and hard” about the government’s decision to delay the HFSS restrictions, before calling on people to bring an Eton Mess dessert to Downing Street in protest.

“I want people to come down at 12.30pm on Friday if he doesn’t row back, and hold up an Eton mess,” said Oliver, who believes the move will symbolise “the privilege and the mess that is our British government and its inability to do the right thing”.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver)

Meanwhile, rules limiting the location of HFSS foods in shops will continue to have a “huge impact” on retailers, as those restrictions are scheduled to to go ahead in October 2022 as planned.

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