Proposed legal action against the government gives the travel industry the opportunity to “raise the stakes without breaking the law”, according to an experienced travel agent.
Clive Jacobs, travel entrepreneur and owner of Travel Weekly parent, Jacobs Media Group, is exploring the possibility of mounting a class action against the government, calling for transparency around the data driving their own traffic light system, so it can operate as intended, and to provide compensation for the thousands of people employed in the sector.
Find more on the legal challenge on behalf of the travel industry on the Crowd Justice appeal page
He was joined on a Travel Weekly webcast by Jeanne Lally, joint managing director of The Travel Bureau in Gosforth.
She said: “I feel very strongly that the government needs to be held to account which is why I support this challenge.
“I have seen, over the last two months, the tone change from compliance and waiting for the lobbying groups – who’ve been very proactive – to get some sort of sensible response from the government.
“Nothing has come, in fact it’s been the opposite. I feel, and there is evidence for this, that a decision was made early on by the government that they can let the travel industry go. I genuinely feel that when you hear the way we are talked about in disparaging terms.”
She added: “Who are the people who are making the decisions within the government that have consigned our industry to a basket?
“When a minister or a politician talks about holidays in an almost insulting tone, it absolutely emotionally infuriates me. So, for me, Clive’s proposal came at the right time.
“I want to understand who these shadowy figures are within the government… something to force the agenda forward is required.”
She remarked how Andrew Lloyd Webber had said he would rather go to prison than run his theatres half full.
“I understand that Boris [Johnson] has agreed to meet him and talk about a way they could make it work,” said Lally. “So this is something we need to harness within travel because we need to raise the stakes without breaking the law, to a point where the government will engage with us. That’s why I think what Clive has done is give us that opportunity.”
Jacobs said: “It’s become very clear that no amount of discussing with government to try and work in a practical way to keep the industry moving is working. That’s why I felt enough was enough.
“Not only are they not listening, and are not interested in working with people in the industry, they have a very different agenda. And what is painfully clear is that it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with science.
“So that’s why I felt we’ve got to find out. And the only way we’re going to find out is by challenging them legally, and finding ways to challenge them, whereby they’ll have to disclose their WhatsApp messages and their emails.
“We will finally get to the truth about this, rather than the misinformation that has been that’s been passing around for too long.”