A plan by the United Kingdom's Conservative Party to lure new young members with Nando's discount cards fell apart on Monday after the South African chain denied it would have any association with the proposals.
It was reported on Saturday that the Conservatives — who are currently struggling to match arch rival Labour's youth appeal and take-up in new membership — were considering bolstering the appeal of is party subscription by rolling out a discount card.
But on Monday, a Nando's spokesperson told Business Insider: "Nando’s has no political affiliations as a brand and no political discount card exists."
While distancing themselves from the possibility of a discount card for the Conservatives, the spokesperson added that they would continue to offer discounts for health services staff and police.
"We have a Nando’s loyalty card and standard gift cards that anyone can use, and we offer a 20% discount to police, fire services, ambulance service and NHS [National Health Service] staff," the spokesperson added.
Referencing the famous sauce served at Nando's restaurants, a spokesperson for the Labour party said on Monday: "The desperate Tories [Conservative Party] offering a Nando's discount scheme was always a peri-peri stupid idea."
The card — described over the weekend by a senior party source as a "very real possibility" — would have included cut-price offers on food and clothes, as well as money off at restaurants like Nando's, the Times reported.
"These are early discussions – we don’t know how many businesses would want to take part, but we’re keen to give members more in return for their membership," they added.
The Labour party's membership has increased dramatically since Jeremy Corbyn was appointed leader in 2015. Its 550,000-strong membership makes it the largest party in Western Europe.
The Conservative membership is less than a quarter of the size, at around 124,000. In particular, the party is engaged in a well-documented and years-long struggle to attract young voters, many of whom voted for Labour in last year's general election.
Tory MP Ben Bradley, who was appointed vice chair of youth for the Conservatives, admitted that his party faces "a huge challenge" in trying to garner young people's support.