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There’s a quite astonishing statement from Home Office Minister Gillian Merron that the smoking ban has not resulted in pub closures.
Merron said: “The pub trade does have challenges and I am aware of that but it isn’t the case that the ban had led to pub closures.”
Really? Not even a single one? This completely flies in the face of the vast weight of anecdotal evidence that the ban has had a severe impact on the trade of pubs, and the statements from virtually every brewer and pub company reporting their results that the smoking ban has hit their profits. It is given short shrift by Mark Daniels who by his own admission isn’t the most diehard opponent of the ban:
The smoking ban has certainly caused most pubs, especially those that were traditional drinking outlets (like mine, for example), a lot of pain - and it has caused a lot to close, too.

To say it hasn't is, frankly, ridiculous and shows a severe lack of knowledge of the problems the pub trade is facing right now.
He also makes the very salient point that the ban has made the trade of pubs much more dependent on fine weather than it used to be.

It is difficult to decide whether Merron is a self-deluding moron, or a blatant, bare-faced liar. Either way, she is clearly totally unfit to hold public office – but, regrettably, one or the other of those qualities seems to be a requirement for serving in the current government.