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New Chancellor Dunks Yorkshire Tea in Hot Water by Dunking Yorkshire Tea in Hot Water

The cuppa company finds out that an unexpected photo doesn’t just bring free press

Chancellor Rish Sunak poses with a big bag of Yorkshire tea
Our tea does not equal endorsement
Rishi Sunak/Twitter

(Ou)r t(ea) does not equal endorsement

Yorkshire Tea finds itself in hot water, after new chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted an innocuous photo of him making a round for his staff. A fairly regular set of responses endured — scepticism as to the verité of this appeal to the social construct of The Regular Briton, another instance of British politics’ deeply weird relationship with culinary authentocracy. A less expected consequence was a whole load of people blaming Yorkshire Tea for endorsing a Conservative government and threatening to boycott it, as if the brand had cunningly inserted itself into the Treasury’s kitchens.

It’s easy to write this off as the absurdity of Twitter, and it is definitely the absurdity of Twitter, but it’s also symptomatic of a cultural obsession with what and how politicians eat and drink which has itself lately grown more and more absurd: New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent toasting of a bagel inspired multiple commentary pieces. When brands do implicitly endorse politics — see Boris Johnson’s visits to Tetley and sausage maker Heck — it’s open season. But sometimes a cup of tea is just a cup of tea.

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