Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson halts Army 'rebranding' plan that would scrap 'Be the Best' motto

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has intervened to halt a rebranding plan for the Army that would see it ditch its "Be the Best" slogan and its historic crest over concerns they are elitist.

Mr Williamson stepped in after an official document suggesting the slogan and crest - which depicts crossed swords, a crown and a lion - be scrapped was leaked to the Mail on Sunday.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: "The defence secretary believes that the British Army is the best of the best and has put these proposals on hold."

The plan was part of a rebranding exercise costing £520,000.

A report called the 'Be the Best' brand 'elitist and non-inclusive' Credit: PA

According to the newspaper, the team of the Army's most senior officer, General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of general staff, wrote a document circulated among senior officers which said: "Market research in May 17 found that Be the Best did not resonate with many of our key audiences and was considered dated, elitist and non-inclusive.

"The ECAB [Executive Committee of the Army Board] therefore agreed that its use should be phased out as soon as affordably possible.

"The retirement of Be the Best will commence immediately with all planned refreshes of Be the Best branded material cancelled in favour of brand compliant products."

The crest was also deemed to be "non-inclusive" by advertising executives hired by the MoD, according to the report.

It was to be replaced by a fluttering Union Jack with the word ARMY in bold type underneath.