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The pub used to be called The James Atherton, named after the founder of New Brighton – but the rebrand has seen the pub’s crest changed to feature cartoonish portraits of the PM Boris Johnson, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the PM’s widely-despised Senior Advisor, Dominic Cummings, replete with literal bells on their heads.
Merseyside are the only region in England to be placed in the “high risk” category of the new Tier system. And, from today, separate households in the area are now forbidden from mixing, and pubs and bars have to close unless they serve food.
Daniel Davies, the chief executive of Rockpoint Leisure – the firm who own the pub – explained that his frustration at the government’s decision to close pubs on Merseyside inspired the rebrand, stating:
“The government has unequivocally blamed our sector for being fundamental in the spreading of Covid-19, despite there being overwhelming evidence to prove otherwise.
“Our business has been decimated and their lack of action has compounded the problem.
“Westminster’s further decision to pick and choose which types of venue may open, based on those serving meals for example, is mind-boggling.”
“Whilst the renaming of the pub is clearly tongue in cheek, as far as I’m concerned the gloves are off and ministers need to understand the gravity of the perilous situation they have placed us in.”
“This is a town that finally feels like it’s on the up and we need funding immediately to protect our businesses and support our staff.
“Yet again it feels as though Liverpool and its environs have been singled out. Winter is around the corner and we need tangible actions and solutions by those in power – now.”
The signs were changed over the course of today, and news quickly spread to social media, which has been overwhelmingly supportive over the pub’s new name.
One user quipped that if they’d included Michael Gove they could have called the pub “The Four Skins”:
— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) October 14, 2020
Daniel Davies has also since tweeted to call on other Merseyside pubs to temporarily rebrand “for the duration of Marshal Law”, and also invited people to suggest other potential pub names:
Rockpoint Leisure is calling on pubs across the land to follow us and do a temporary name change (for the duration of Marshal Law) to reflect the mood of the nation. Let’s get some name ideas going! The Three Bellends 🛎🛎🛎 #LongLiveHospitality RT @wearethentia @alanvibe pic.twitter.com/uNoX5oA2A2
— Daniel Davies (@danieldaviesRPL) October 14, 2020
It’s unlikely that Johnson, Hancock or Cummings will be seen on Merseyside for a cheeky pint anytime soon.