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Yorkshire Tea calls for kindness after criticism over Rishi Sunak picture

UK News | Published:

The company was heavily criticised over an image of the Chancellor with a bag of its tea.

Rishi Sunak with a bag of Yorkshire Tea

Yorkshire Tea has asked people to “try to be kind” after it received online abuse over a picture of Rishi Sunak with a bag of its teabags.

There were calls to boycott the brand on Friday after the Chancellor shared the image with the caption: “Quick Budget prep break making tea for the team. Nothing like a good Yorkshire brew.”

Many Twitter users responded to the post by condemning the brand for its apparent association with the Conservative politician, leading the company to publicly dissociate itself from the post.

On Friday, the brand tweeted: “Nothing to do with us – people of all political stripes like our brew.”

However, on Monday the curator of Yorkshire Tea’s Twitter account took to the social media platform again after a “rough weekend” of angry comments – including many who had said they will take their custom elsewhere.

“On Friday, the Chancellor shared a photo of our tea. Politicians do that sometimes,” it said.

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“We weren’t asked or involved – and we said so the same day. Lots of people got angry with us all the same.

“For some, our tea just being drunk by someone they don’t like means it’s forever tainted, and they’ve made sure we know it.”

The curator of the account said they had “spent the last three days answering furious accusations and boycott calls” while some people had tried to pull the brand into “a political mudfight”.

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“It’s easier to be on the receiving end of this as a brand than as an individual,” wrote the account’s curator.

“There’s more emotional distance and I’ve had a team to support me when it got a bit much.

“But for anyone about to vent their rage online, even to a company – please remember there’s a human on the other end of it and try to be kind.”

The account also thanked those who “spoke up” for them and sent messages of support.

Sharing Yorkshire Tea’s comments, comedian Mark Watson tweeted: “This thread, in which Yorkshire Tea politely ask people not to abuse them for a photo they had nothing to do with, made me gesture with vague despair into the void.”

Twitter user @DavidMuttering posted: “There was a storm brewing. But now this brew is storming.

“Well done @YorkshireTea and the human who has had to deal with all this nonsense.”

The company was also defended by Tory MP Dehenna Davison, who called on people to “calm down”.

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