UK Politics

Team GB warns Leave.EU over image use

Team GB fans Image copyright Getty Images

The British Olympic Association has told a leading Brexit campaign group to stop using Team GB images in its social media posts.

Leave.EU received a letter from BOA lawyers telling it to stop using logos and images of athletes immediately.

The campaign group said it would "continue to publish stories that showcase how Britain is thriving as we Leave the European Union".

Its Twitter feed still features a video congratulating Team GB's medal winners.

Leave.EU, founded by millionaire UKIP donor Arron Banks, played a prominent role in the 23 June referendum despite not being the official Leave campaign.

Its recent tweets include a video - posted on Monday - showing some of Team GB's successful Olympians, with the title: "We may be small, but we truly are Great Britain" and ending by showing Team GB's logo.

Image copyright @LeaveEUOfficial/Twitter
Image caption The British Olympic Association has objected to some of Leave.EU's social media posts

The group has received a letter from the British Olympic Association - which it has posted on its website - warning that its use of "Olympic-related intellectual property" was an infringement of the BOA's rights.

"These rights are reserved exclusively for our official partners who, as you will appreciate, pay significant sums to use our IP [intellectual property] and associate themselves with the Olympic Games," the letter said.

Leave.EU accused the BOA of suing it "for pointing out how great Team GB are doing".

But the BOA said no legal action had been taken.

It said: "In some cases during the Games we have to speak to organisations about the misuse of our athletes' and team's IP.

Image copyright Twitter/@CallumSkinner
Image caption Cyclist Callum Skinner responded to Leave.EU's tweet

"In this case, given the scale of the use of our intellectual property without our consent, we contacted Leave.EU by email to request them to refrain from doing so."

Gold medal-winning cyclist Callum Skinner responded to Leave.EU's video by tweeting his thanks for the support, but adding: "I wish you wouldn't use my image to promote your campaign".