'Lamentable and offensive': Bishop of Norwich blasts Tories over 'JFC' advert
PUBLISHED: 19:57 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 20:23 06 September 2019
A religious leader in Norfolk has launched a scathing attack on the Conservatives following the release of a "lamentable" and "deeply offensive" advert.
The Tories have faced criticism for the advert which depicted Jeremy Corbyn as a chicken, continuing a jibe aimed at the Labour leader by Boris Johnson in Westminster earlier this week.
On Friday the Conservatives' Twitter account shared the doctored image of a feathered Mr Corbyn with the caption: "Hey (KFC), we've found an even bigger chicken than you."
The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, took to Twitter to express his disgust at the advert which included a caption reading "JFC" - a reference to food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), but also online slang for "Jesus F****** Christ".
Mr Graham said: "The @conservatives have produced many statesmen and women of dignity and still have a few among their MPs, but their 'JFC' advert is lamentable and, given its meaning in social media slang, is deeply offensive to Christians. Why not get the dignity back and raise the debate?"
Another critic of the advert was former Conservative Alistair Burt, who had the whip removed this week for defying the government over plans to block a no-deal Brexit.
"Please stop this stuff," he tweeted. "We are better than this."
However, Conservative Party chairman and Essex MP James Cleverly encouraged the advert.
"Thinking about what to have for lunch," he tweeted sharing the image. "Large bucket of boneless (certainly spineless) JFC (Jeremy's Frightened & Chicken) perhaps."
In response, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who co-chaired the Conservatives between 2010-12, tweeted: "This James is silly playground behaviour. We are in the middle of a national crisis and this is our response. How can grown men reduce themselves to this level of silliness. What has become of this great party of ours."
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the Tories are "distracting from their chaotic leadership and lack of mandate with bad policies and even worse jokes".
KFC appeared to distance itself from the advert by referencing talk radio station LBC, well known for its political discussion.
"This is KFC not LBC don't @ me," the company's UK account tweeted.