Phones 4u billionaire John Caudwell is blasted for saying government ‘should have let public build up herd immunity’ to Covid (while he resides in £250m ‘Bond villain’ mansion)
- Tory party donor and Phones4u co-founder John Caudwell sparked backlash
- Said government ‘should’ve invested money in protecting aged and vulnerable’
- He made the comments on Question Time as it returned to the BBC last night
The tycoon, who lives in an opulent £250 million 15-bedroom Mayfair mega mansion, made the comments on Question Time as it returned to the BBC last night.
The Phones4u co-founder said: ‘I’ve been making the point from day one that we should’ve invested the money in protecting the aged and the vulnerable, and let everybody else build up herd immunity.’
Mr Caudwell, 67, is the 97th richest person in the UK, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
He sold his phones empire for £1.5 billion in 2006, and this year completed renovations on a 15-bedroom home by joining two Mayfair houses and turning them into one palatial mansion.
Viewers were quick to respond to his comments, with one tweeting: ‘Something deeply sinister about a man who owns a £250 million mansion advocating herd immunity.’
The father-of-five splashed out an eye-watering £87 million on the original properties in a district populated by embassies and Middle Eastern banks in 2012, planning to restore their original period grandeur.
The mega mansion covers eight floors and spans more than 43,000 sq ft, a surface area that fits somewhere between the size of Westminster Abbey (32,000 sq ft) and Westminster Cathedral (54,000 sq ft).
Caudwell, whose partner Modesta Vzesniauskaite, 36, represented her native Lithuania in cycling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, intends the property to be used for his charitable enterprises and business meetings.
His main home is a £12 million, 50-room Jacobean manor house in Staffordshire, plus another property in Mayfair, one in Monaco and two ski chalets.
Mr Caudwell also used the appearance on the BBC‘s Question Time to accuse European leaders of metaphorically beating Theresa May, Mr Johnson’s predecessor, ‘black and blue’ as she sought a withdrawal agreement.
He accused European nations of ‘plundering our fishing waters’ and taking billions in UK cash, telling Question Time: ‘They are bullying us and beating us up. They beat Theresa May black and blue, and they have continued to try and do it all the way through.
‘Fortunately Boris rose to the challenge and fought back. This behaviour by Brussels I find absolutely abhorrent, but of course the reason they are doing it is because they have got no option.
‘Because if they gave Britain an easy ride the other European countries would see that and potentially there would be an exodus, possibly a mass exodus, possibly a complete collapse of the Union.
‘Of course that is not what Brussels wants so they will use any means, fair or foul, to protect their situation.’