Army halts plans to ditch 'Be the Best' slogan
Plans to ditch the Army's Be the Best slogan and its crest logo have been halted by the defence secretary.
The Mail on Sunday said the Army was considering changing the slogan after market research said it was considered "dated, elitist and non-inclusive".
The Ministry of Defence said the Army-commissioned rebrand had cost £520,000.
But a spokesman told BBC News that Gavin Williamson believed the Army was "the best of the best" and that the rebrand proposals had been put on hold.
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According to the newspaper, a leaked document from the department - written by the Army's most senior officer, General Sir Nick Carter - said market research carried out by the MoD showed the slogan "did not resonate with many of our key audiences".
As a result, the Army's executive committee agreed "its use should be phased out as soon as affordably possible", with plans for the "retirement of Be the Best [to] commence immediately".
The research also found the Army's crest - depicting crossed swords, a crown and a lion - to be "non-inclusive" and recommended replacing both with a union jack with the word ARMY in bold underneath.
It is not clear when Mr Williamson became aware of the plans, but he has since put them on hold.
Chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, Julian Lewis, told the newspaper that being the best was "nothing to be ashamed of".
He said: "It is a matter for pride and a very positive message to transmit. Why should we be afraid of excellence when we are constantly saying our Armed Forces are the best in the world?"
Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood has tweeted that "whatever the strapline" the force is "the most professional Army in the world", adding: "That makes them the best".
Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of UK troops in Afghanistan, added that it was "lunacy to squander money on a futile branding project" when there was already pressure on the defence budget.
In 2016, the government pledged to spend £178bn on new military equipment over the next 10 years.
However, it can only do so if the department can find £7.3bn of efficiency savings - on top of £7.1bn previously announced - by selling off property and making other efficiencies.
Mr Williamson has also been warned of a Tory revolt if any cuts to Army and Navy numbers are announced as part of an ongoing security review.