Ukip’s new leader has declared himself happy with the party’s new logo despite suggestions it is a “rip-off” of the Premier League’s emblem and criticism from Gary Lineker.
Lawyers at the Premier League are believed to be looking at the party’s new design, which features a purple lion on a white background like the logo of English football’s top flight.
However, a party spokesman has insisted it is “not a rip-off” and stressed Ukip had “checked” it does not infringe copyright, declaring: “We’re not that stupid.”
New Ukip leader Henry Bolton said he was happy to proceed with the new design given members have voted for it.
“You’re going to be terribly disappointed at this, I have no idea at the moment what the Premier League’s logo looks like,” Mr Bolton told a press conference.
“I will have a look at that, another conversation that I might have to have.
“But as it is I’m personally fine with it, but you know what, I want a united party and I want that party to have a clear identity, and the members this afternoon who are here at conference voted quite decisively that they like the logo and I think that’s the start point for me as their leader.
“I said in my acceptance speech that my ethos is one of serving the party to lead, that doesn’t mean dictating what the logo should or should not be, I want the members to feel comfortable with their identity and that logo is a critical part of that identity.”
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 29, 2017
The logo sparked a war of words between Lineker and Ukip.
On seeing the design, the Match Of The Day host tweeted an “eyes rolling” emoji and the message: “The @premierleague will be thrilled.”
The Ukip spokesman then commented: “Gary Lineker is a very well-known, somewhat sanctimonious, extremely well-paid TV celebrity who has their own opinions.”
The ex-England star responded: “But I’m working hard on having someone else’s opinions.”
At Ukip’s party conference in Torquay, the spokesman said the lion was broadly recognised as a symbol of Britain and joked it has been named “Flossie”.
Earlier, Ukip chairman Paul Oakden said he was not worried about the Premier League’s legal team looking at the image.
He told BBC Two’s Daily Politics: “I’m not worried.
“For a start, I don’t mind Ukip being associated with the Premier League … If they (the Premier League) feel they have a right to take legal action, I’m sure they’ll consult with their lawyers.
“We did our due diligence before we put these logos to the membership and, as I said, we are perfectly comfortable.”
The lion design won a vote among members to replace Ukip’s famous pound sign logo, beating an effort apparently meant to represent sails.