‘They’ve lost a customer’: Backlash after knitwear company makes ‘get Brexit done’ scarf

PUBLISHED: 16:36 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:01 05 December 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds up a banner with the words 'Get Brexit Done' during a visit to the John Smedley Mill. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds up a banner with the words 'Get Brexit Done' during a visit to the John Smedley Mill. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

There has been an online backlash after Boris Johnson visited an upmarket knitwear company and received a scarf emblazoned with ‘get Brexit done’.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

The prime minister was visiting John Smedley's factory in Derbyshire as part of general election campaigning and has proudly unfurled a scarf with both the slogan and the company name on it.

Having been greeted outside the textile mill by protesters, the prime minister answered questions from company staff as well as receiving the scarf.

The image of the scarf has sparked an online furore from customers of the brand.

Twitter user @MonkeyPicks said: "Won't be buying @JohnSmedley for a long time. And believe me, I've tons of their stuff. Tory Brexit Enablers."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds up a banner with the words 'Get Brexit Done' during a visit to the John Smedley Mill. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds up a banner with the words 'Get Brexit Done' during a visit to the John Smedley Mill. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Another Twitter user Harry McNally called it the company's "Ratner moment", recalling the time jewellery magnate Gerald Ratner torpedoed his brand thanks to an ill-thought-out public statement.

Twitter user 'Misanthrope' said: "Oh dear. Spent a small fortune over the years @JohnSmedley, not a penny more from me after inviting the sociopath to visit and your staff gleefully laughing at his inane jokes."

"Get Smedley Gone," said Twitter user 'Ed'.

Another Twitter user, Mark Kerrison, said: "I imagine that charity shops will be seeing a large influx of @JohnSmedley knitwear after they gifted Boris Johnson a Get Brexit Done scarf at a press conference. Certainly mine will. A lifetime's worth."

In a surprise coincidence, musician Stormzy - an outspoken critic of the prime minister and a Labour supporter - has also been seen sporting a John Smedley jumper, in a picture the company retweeted just two days ago.

It is unknown whether the company presented the scarf to the prime minister, or if he asked for it, but the Sun's deputy political editor Matt Dathan said that the prime minister made it himself at the factory.

In response to a query about the online backlash, a spokesperson for John Smedley said: "This is the first time that a British prime minister has visited the company in its 250 year history.

"We appreciate the government taking an interest in British manufacturing in this way.

"The visit does not symbolise an alliance to any political party."

The spokesperson would not be drawn on whether or not it would produce a "bollocks to Brexit" scarf at the request of a Remainer politician.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.