Chancellor Rishi Sunak's photo of him appearing to make a huge round of Yorkshire Tea for his Treasury staff has kicked off a backlash among social media users. The Twitter image led to calls by some on the left for a boycott of the brand. The tea company has now urged social media users to “try to be kind”.
The company said that it was “pretty shocked” by this backlash and call for boycott. They reminded people that Labour leade Jeremy Corbyn had also posed with iys products in 2017. During a visit to York in 2017, Mr Corbyn said he would be happy to discuss climate change and other issues over a pot of Yorkshire Tea with Donald Trump if he ever made it to Downing Street.
Yorkshire Tea, a popular tea brand has evolved over the years from being just a regional blend found in Yorkshire to a major export quality of tea, sold as far as China and Australia.
But after Mr Sunak posted a photo on Friday with a bumper pack of 1040 tea bags, the company was struck with major criticism. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, who represents the North Yorkshire seat of Richmond's twitter handle with the photo said, “Quick Budget prep break making tea for the team. Nothing like a good Yorkshire brew.”
Yorkshire Tea, which is owned by Taylors of Harrogate, reportedly made it clear on Friday that it had had nothing to do with the photo and had not been told in advance by the Chancellor's team that he would associate himself with their brand.
A member of the firm's social media team urged people on twitter to remember that the company has a human as well as a corporate face.