By Courtney Pike, Fishing Correspondent
Boris Johnson is leading the EU out campaign because he has a secret controlling interest in a chain of Suffolk fish and chip shops.
The Suffolk Gazette can reveal that the Tory heavyweight’s chippy empire will profit if Britain is exempt from the EU’s restrictive North Sea fishing quotas.
Bumper-sized trawler catches of cod and haddock will ensure a cheaper supply to his high-class fish and chip establishments in Aldeburgh, Leiston, Woodbridge and Southwold.
But industry experts are surprised the fish and chip shop millionaire has gone to such underhand extremes to improve business.
“It goes to show how ruthless these politicians are,” said Mr Chris P Fry, chairman of the Lowestoft Fisheries Corporation. “Staking your whole political future on such a major issue as Brexit is one thing, but being caught out doing so for business reasons is quite another.”
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A Suffolk Gazette investigation reveals Johnson owns six fish and chip shops in the upmarket Suffolk coastal area, using a parent company called Batter Europe Now Ltd.
Companies House records show the chain turned over £3.1 million last year, netting a profit of £1 million for Mr Johnson and company director Ian Luscombe, who is also named as a non-executive director of the Suffolk treacle mine.
The chippies are popular with Suffolk locals and a firm favourite for tourists – and even Mr Johnson ships regular takeaways to London by taxi so he can enjoy slap-up dinners at home.
One pro-Europe campaigner said: “This probably explains why Boris is a little overweight. But now his secret fast-food empire, and the reasons for his support of leaving the European Union have been exposed, we’re sure we’ll win the referendum and stay in Europe.”
Mr Johnson was unavailable to speak to the Suffolk Gazette last night, but a friend said: “Boris is not trying to wriggle off the hook – when the chips are down he’ll come out fighting.”
Our story seems to confirm many alleged sightings of Mr Johnson near fish and chip shops in east Suffolk.
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