Theresa May slams National Trust over 'airbrushing' of Easter
Rebranding annual event as 'Cadbury Egg Hunt' is 'absolutely ridiculous', says Prime Minister
Theresa May says it is "absolutely ridiculous" that the National Trust and chocolatier Cadbury have omitted the word "Easter" from their annual egg hunt.
Church leaders have also criticised the move, accusing the two organisations of "airbrushing faith" after rebranding the annual "Easter Egg Trail" as the "Cadbury Egg Hunt".
Speaking during her visit to Jordan, the Prime Minister said it was wrong to remove the religious reference.
She told ITV News: "I’m not just a vicar’s daughter, I’m a member of the National Trust as well. I think the stance they have taken is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know what they are thinking about frankly."
Her criticism comes after the Archbishop of York told the Daily Telegraph the move was "tantamount to spitting on the grave" of Cadbury's Christian founder, John Cadbury.
However, the chocolate-maker said that the word Easter did appear on its packaging and in its marketing. A spokesman added that the company wanted to appeal to non-Christians, saying: "We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats."
The National Trust also denied it was downplaying Easter, saying it arranges "a huge number of events, activities and walks to bring families together at this time of year".
Egg hunts are held at more than 250 National Trust properties around the country over the Easter weekend. A bumper 350,000 people are expected to attend this year, up by nearly 100,000 on 2016.
Cadbury faced a similar furore last year, when customers protested against the removal of the word “Easter” from the front of its packaging, labelling its eggs "Milk Chocolate Eggs" instead.