by Edward Malnick, Telegraph
The head of Sainsbury’s has stepped into the row over Sunday trading with a warning to ministers not to extend opening hours all year round.
Justin King, the group’s chief executive, said the restrictions on opening hours — suspended during the Olympics and Paralympics — were “a great British compromise” and should not be abandoned.
In a second attack, the Church of England teamed up with a union and a shopkeepers’ group to call for curbs on opening hours to remain in place.
The interventions — in letters to The Sunday Telegraph — come as some Conservative ministers seek to scrap the law that restricts big stores to six hours’ trading on Sundays, in a measure aimed at boosting economic growth.
In his letter, Mr King says the regime has “great merit” for both shoppers and workers.
He writes: “Maintaining Sunday’s special status has great merit for our customers and our colleagues, and relaxing Sunday trading laws is certainly not a magic answer to economic regeneration.”
In an unusual alliance, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford, signed a joint letter with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers and the Association of Convenience Stores, describing as “alarming” the indications that the Olympic relaxation could continue.
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