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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Tories favour 'oak tree revamp'
The slightly out of focus logo was scanned by a mobile phone camera
The logo was scanned by a ConservativeHome reader
The Conservatives' flaming torch logo looks set to be replaced by an oak tree, it has emerged.

The blue and green symbol is popular among thousands of party members and workers who are keen to revamp the Tories' image.

A party spokesman said the tree design was "emerging as the front runner" among activists who are being consulted during the summer.

The new logo is set to be unveiled ahead of the party's autumn conference.

Strong and rooted?

There is also talk of having separate "tree" images for the different regions of the UK, with speculation that Tories could be represented by a pine tree in Scotland and a Welsh oak in Wales.

The updated look will replace the "freedom torch", which was first introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1977 and revamped by Michael Howard at the party's 2004 annual conference.

One reason for change is party members constantly tell us they want a change and it's time to reflect the fact that the party is changing
Conservative spokesman

A Tory spokesman said the party was looking at dozens of different images and a large number of them were variations on the oak tree theme.

"It is certainly emerging as the front runner and is going down well with a large number of party members," he said.

"There has been very, very positive feedback."

The spokesman said the oak underlined party leader David Cameron's environmental credentials, but it was also a symbol of strength.

He added that it was time to change the famous torch logo "which has been around for the best part of a quarter of a century".

"One reason for change is party members constantly tell us they want a change and it's time to reflect the fact that the party is changing," he said.

Current Tory logo
The famous 'torch' logo from 2004

A poll on the ConservativeHome website, which represents the views of the party at grassroots level to its leadership, suggested that 63% of its users supported an oak tree logo.

Some of the words and phrases used to explain their backing included that the image was strong, rooted, environmental/green, English/British, protective, reaching to the sky and providing shelter.

Website editor Tim Montgomerie, formerly ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith's chief of staff, said one of his readers had scanned the oak tree image being considered with his mobile phone.

He said he had it on good authority that it was the party's "intention to have this as their logo in some form".

A Labour Party spokesman said: "This is classic David Cameron - putting his public relations strategy ahead of tough policy decisions.

"The Conservative Party needs more than a re-spray if it's going to be taken seriously."


SEE ALSO
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