Sajid Javid slams 'irresponsible' cosmetics chain Lush over ‘spycops’ campaign
Sajid Javid has criticised high street retailer Lush over an advertising campaign slamming undercover police as liars.
The beauty giant launched the campaign to raise awareness of an ongoing inquiry into so-called ‘spycops’ who worked undercover to infiltrate activist groups in England and Wales.
But Home Secretary Sajid Javid has publicly blasted the company in a tweet, saying: “Never thought I would see a mainstream British retailer running a public advertising campaign against our hard working police. This is not a responsible way to make a point.”
The company have put up window displays in its high street stores with a mock-up of a police officer in and out of uniform alongside the tag-line “Paid to lie #Spycops”. In some stores they have also stuck up replica police tape emblazoned with: “Police have crossed the line.”
Following a social media backlash, Lush have insisted that the campaign is not anti-police.
In a statement released on their website they said: “We are aware that the police forces of the UK are doing an increasingly difficult and dangerous job whilst having their funding slashed.
“Our campaign is to highlight this small and secretive subset of undercover policing that undermines and threatens the very idea of democracy.”
Mr Javid’s full-throated attack on the company comes weeks after he promised frontline police officer the “tools and back-up they need” in a speech to the Police Federation.
As part of the effort to “reset’ the relationship between Government and the police, Mr Javid added: “You’ve told me you’re feeling stretched, overburdened and not sufficiently rewarded… I know it’s frustrating when your rest days get cancelled – often at short notice.
“And I know your work can take its toll on your mental and physical health. And you deserve to be respected and valued.”
Calum MacLeod, who chairs the Police Federation called on the company to have the “good sense” to apologise for the “poorly judged PR campaign”.
He added: “No doubt the company will have many employees who have friends and family in the service and I urge them also to act now and hold their bosses and the company to account".