Festival caterers hit back at the idea of ‘The Tory Glastonbury’

They slam it as 'Tory self-promo-circle-jerk'

A festival catering company has slammed the Conservative Party for using an image of theirs without permission to promote the idea of a new ‘Tory Festival’.

The Conservative Party are organising a one-day festival after seeing the response to Jeremy Corbyn’s Glastonbury appearance earlier this year. Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman is credited with the idea, the aim of which is said to be increasing the party’s grassroots support.

“Why should the left have all the fun at festivals?” Freeman tweeted in July, along various photos of festival tents, flags and food trucks. “We need a cultural revival of grassroots Conservatism: DM me to join #ConservativeIdeasFest”.

However the initial Tweet sent by Mr Freeman contained a photo of The Jabberwocky catering company – who have taken issue with being associated with the idea.

“The Jabberwocky is totally on board with freedom of speech and using social media for that purpose,” a spokesman from the company told NME. “Recently George Freeman MP was promoting a Tory project, and his team used a collage of festival images, including a photo of mine showing our van.

“We contacted him and asked for it to be removed. Initially they complied, sending us something that vaguely approached an apology. Less than a month later the collage of images had been reposted with new images to go alongside our van, which was still featured.”

– Read more: The Tory Festival sounds like the worst thing ever

The Jabberwocky continued: “We did not ask or want to be associated with Tory festivals. Seriously, who would? Also, we had already asked for it to be taken down and explicitly clarified, in easy words, that they were not allowed to use our images. This was ignored.”

“If we had been asked, we would have said no, or charged them enough to offset our embarrassment of being associated with Tory-Self-Promo-Circle-Jerk.”

“We have sent them a bill. Let’s see if they are grown-up enough to admit they messed up and pay it.”

Conservatives Glastonbury

The Tories have been inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s Glastonbury appearance

“Contrary to media reports the inaugural ‘Big Tent’ Ideas Fest that I am organising is not a music festival, but a political Ideas Festival to explore fresh thinking for grassroots renewal of mainstream politics,” Mr Freeman told NME in response.  This year’s initial event is a gathering of c.200 leaders of grass-roots renewal to share ideas for a potentially bigger open event in 2018.  Watch this space.”

They added: Regarding the photograph of The Jabberwocky catering van which was included in a collage of festival images published online, the photo has now been removed.”