Doctor Who actor John Barrowman backed by senior MP in row over supermarket self-checkouts

Doctor Who actor John Barrowman backed by senior MP in row over supermarket self-checkouts

Supermarkets shifting towards almost total self-checkout came under fire from a senior Tory MP.

North Dorset MP Simon Hoare, who chairs the Commons Northern Ireland Committee, backed up a warning from Doctor Who actor John Barrowman.

Mr Barrowman had criticised supermarkets “heading towards almost exclusively self-checkout” and then checking people’s receipts as they left stores.

“I didn’t choose to participate in that nonsense, I had already filled my cart, emptied my cart, scanned the items, refilled my cart and so I just skipped the exit line and left,” he said, explaining how he had paid for his shopping.

He added on Twitter, also known as X, “If you want me to be a cashier with no training then that’s your problem not mine.

“Keep employing young people and give them job opportunities.”

Mr Hoare retweeted his message, adding: “I agree entirely. Worth noting that for some, the short conversation at the checkout is sometimes the only human interaction of the day. Customers must have the choice.”

Meanwhile, new figures showed the move to self-checkout machines in supermarkets was hitting the number of vacancies in stores, including those in the run-up to Christmas.

Job adverts linked to checkouts were down to just over 2,000 last month, from more than 2,740 a year ago, according to job search engine Adzuna.

It also warned that checkout posts are now around 15 per cent of supermarket jobs, compared to 58 percent seven years ago.

The number of self-checkout machines in supermarkets has jumped from 53,000 to around 80,000 in the last five years, according to data from analytics platform RBR Data Services.

Some shoppers still prefer going to a till and speaking to a staff member while they pay for their weekly shop.