1. ITV Report

Yorkshire Tea calls on people to 'be kind' after social media tensions boil over following Rishi Sunak's Twitter post

Rishi Sunak's post caused a stir. Credit: Twitter/Rishi Sunak

Yorkshire Tea has asked people to "try to be kind" after a "rough weekend" that saw the company receive a barrage of online abuse over a photograph 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."

Not everyone's cup of tea, many Twitter users responded to the post by condemning the brand for its apparent association with the Conservative politician.

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

But the storm in a tea cup continued on Monday, with Yorkshire Tea's social media employee distancing themselves from the post.

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

"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 social media employee 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".

"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.

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"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".