The chancellor – who has been widely mocked for his extensive use of personal branding on social media – was condemned by one of his fellow Tory ministers over the latest move.
Defence minister Jonny Mercer suggested Mr Sunak was trying too hard to take personal credit for government policy, urging the chancellor to become more of a “team” player.
“I’m not a fan of amending the Tory party logo to incorporate your first name, unless perhaps you are the prime minister,” defence minister Johnny Mercer told Politico.
“Rishi is a good lad, but what people want is good, strong Conservative government and policies, because we all stand or fall as a team, and people will remember what the Conservatives did, not what Rishi Sunak did.”
Mr Mercer was not the only person questioning if Mr Sunak had gone too far with his one-man marking campaign. “Has he got authorisation to mess with the Tory logo? That sort of thing usually leads to serious trouble,” said business adviser Martin Jones.
Local newspaper published Steve Barron added: “The Rishi Sunak logo on the bottom right? This isn’t Rishi’s money being dished out. We’ll all feel the pain of paying it back in the future.”
Mr Sunak has previously defended his approach to social media, dubbed “Brand Rishi”. The chancellor has continued to used elaborate graphics and soft-focus pictures overlaid with his personal signature.
The cabinet minister said he simply wanted to keep up with the times in speaking to the public, arguing back in July that “the way we communicate is changing”.
Mr Sunak added: “I’m keen to try and get our message across to as many people as possible and engage them, and if that means they poke some fun at me in the process so be it if it means they’re talking about what we’re doing and debating it.”
Political commentators were divided on the chancellor’s use of the Tory tree. The Huffington Post’s Paul Waugh suggested Mr Sunak’s personal branding had now “gone to a whole new level”.
However, the Financial Times’ Sebastian Payne suggested the tree icon had been brought in to “replace” the much-mocked personal signature. He tweeted: “After recent mutterings about policy splits between No 10 and No 11, [it is] a gentle evolution to show one happy Conservative family.”
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