Labour MP Keith Vaz angers constituents by telling Coca Cola Christmas truck not to visit Leicester

Mr Vaz claims national tour to promote sugar-laden drinks is 'ill-judged' 

Heather Saul
Wednesday 04 November 2015 16:42
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For many Coca-Cola's iconic truck tour marks the official start of Christmas
For many Coca-Cola's iconic truck tour marks the official start of Christmas

Keith Vaz has angered his constituents by telling the Coca-Cola truck not to visit Leicester during its annual Christmas tour.

The diabetic Labour MP told Coca-Cola its truck is not welcome in Leicester, where it is due to stop on 17 December as part of its tour of 46 cities.

The truck, which has become synonymous with Christmas thanks to the famous ‘Holidays are Coming’ advert, will wrap up the tour by heading to London’s Leicester Square on 23 December.

Mr Vaz, who has type 2 diabetes, said: “The Coca-Cola truck is not welcome in Leicester, and this national tour to promote sugar-laden drinks is ill-judged and unwise at a time of record diabetes and obesity levels.”

“Coca-Cola have said the truck will not be giving their products to younger children, but this is clearly unenforceable,” he said.

Keith Vaz is not happy about the visit

“This tour is not the 'real thing', it is the wrong thing.”

Dozens of residents reacted angrily to his call on Twitter, with many urging Coca-Cola to continue with its schedule stop regardless.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola Great Britain told The Independent it would still be visiting Leicester as planned.

In a statement, it said: “The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour provides a moment of fun for the family in the build-up to Christmas and we've had a positive response from many people in Leicester to the news that it will stop there this year.

“People will have the opportunity to see the truck up close, have their photograph taken with it and enjoy a small (150ml) can of any of the four Coca-Cola variants we make, which include Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero, our no-sugar options.

The Coca-Cola truck has become synonymous with Christmas thanks to its famous ‘Holidays are Coming’ advert. It’s tour will wrap up by heading to London’s Leicester Square on 23 December.

“We have a policy not to market our products to under-12s, and will therefore not be providing drinks to under-12s unless their parent or guardian is happy for us to do so.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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