Sainsburys store

No such order could have been made by Lord Sainsbury as he has Alzheimer’s, says editor of The Grocer Adam Leyland

Sainsbury’s has become the latest target of a right-wing boycott against grocery brands in the escalating Black Lives Matter protests after a statue of slave trader Robert Milligan was removed from outside the Museum of London in London’s Docklands.

The call on Twitter to #BoycottSainsburys emerged after it was claimed that legendary ex-Sainsbury’s CEO Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover – whose Linbury Trust, set up by Lord Sainsbury in 1973 with his wife Lady Anya, donated £10m to set up the museum - ordered the statue to be taken down.

The right-wing agitators provided no evidence to substantiate the claim, adding only that Lord Sainsbury had donated nearly £8m to stop Brexit.

But Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer – who has known the Sainsbury family for over 35 years – confirmed that no such order could have been made by Lord Sainsbury as he has Alzheimer’s.

”The idea that Lord Sainsbury would instruct some unspecified person to take a statue down outside a museum his Linbury Trust helped to pay for is preposterous,” said Leyland ”He has Alzheimer’s, poor man. Also, the Lord Sainsbury who donated nearly £8m to support Remain has nothing to do with the Linbury Trust or that museum. But these boycotters never let the facts get in the way.”

The tag has since been co-opted on social media by anti-racist users in support of Sainsbury’s and #BuySainsburys has began to trend, with many users joking that there will be better availability of online delivery slots now that racists have stopped shopping with the retailer.


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The boycott comes following calls for both Yorkshire Tea and PG Tips to be blacklisted. In a show of #solidaritea the two tea brands took a stand against racism and expressed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter yesterday.

Far-right agitator Laura Towler tweeted: “I’m dead chuffed Yorkshire Tea hasn’t supported BLM” to which Yorkshire Tea replied:

“Please don’t buy our tea again, we’re taking some time to educate ourselves and plan proper action before we post. We stand against racism. #BlackLivesMatter.”

When others vowed to switch to PG Tips as a result, the Unilever brand replied: “If you are boycotting teas that stand against racism, you’re going to have to find two new tea brands now #blacklivesmatter #solidaritea,”

Coop CEO Steve Murrells has also supported the Black Lives Matter movement. In a strongly worded criticism of the death of George Floyd, Murrells said he felt “compelled” to let all the Co-op colleagues know “I care deeply about you”. 

Sainsbury’s declined to comment on the furore on social media.