Tory group apologises to Liverpool Italian restaurant

Popular Liverpool Italian restaurant Il Forno was subjected to a torrent of abuse on social media after it was wrongly claimed they had catered for the Conservative party conference. Tony McDonough reports

Paolo Cillo
Il Forno owner and executive chef Paolo Cillo


Liverpool city centre Italian restaurant Il Forno has received an apology from the British Italian Conservatives Group after it was wrongly named as a catering supplier to the Conservative Party conference.

Last weekend, the Tory group posted on Twitter thanking them for the quality of the food they supplied to the conference in Manchester. In fact, the restaurant had not supplied any catering for the event.

The tweet led to a cascade of abuse on social media for the Duke Street venue, and its sister business Crust. Many people were vowing never to eat there again. The British Italian Conservatives have now deleted the post and issued an apology.

Paolo Cillo, owner of Il Forno and Crust restaurants, said: “We are deeply concerned and disappointed that the British Italian Conservatives wrongly named Il Forno as a catering supplier at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

“It is our understanding that another business, unrelated to Il Forno or Crust, provided the catering for the Conservative Party conference. We have now received a letter of apology from the (Italian) Conservatives clarifying their mistake.

“As a proud Liverpool business of 17 years we feel overwhelmed by the vitriolic attacks with a torrent of abuse by some on social media for something we had no involvement with, and we feel compelled to set the record straight.”

Il Forno, which has a capacity for 150 diners, has enjoyed a reputation as one of Liverpool’s best-loved Italian restaurants for almost two decades. Last year, despite the pandemic, the owners invested £300,000 to give the venue a new look.

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