The Conservatives have faced criticism after they depicted Jeremy Corbyn as a chicken in a party advert, continuing a jibe aimed by Boris Johnson at the Labour leader this week.

In a dig at Mr Corbyn’s decision to block a general election, the Prime Minister branded the Labour leader a “gigantic chlorinated chicken” in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

On Friday afternoon the Conservatives’ Twitter account shared the doctored image of a feathered Mr Corbyn, with the caption: “Hey (KFC), we’ve found an even bigger chicken than you.”

A caption in the corner of the image reads “JFC”, in reference to food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), with the tagline “totally spineless chicken”.

The Conservatives doubled down on the advertisement by sending lobby journalists takeaway bags of chicken marked “JFC” on Friday.

“Move over Colonel. Jeremy Corbyn’s the new biggest chicken in town,” read a press release entitled Fowl Play which accompanied the food.

One of the bags of chicken
(Sam Blewett/PA)

Former Conservative Alistair Burt, who had the whip removed this week for defying the Government over plans to block a no-deal Brexit, was one of many to criticise the advert.

“Please stop this stuff,” he tweeted. “We are better than this.”

However Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly encouraged the advert.

“Thinking about what to have for lunch,” he tweeted sharing the image. “Large bucket of boneless (certainly spineless) JFC (Jeremy’s Frightened & Chicken) perhaps.”

In response, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who co-chaired the Conservatives between 2010-12, tweeted: “This James is silly playground behaviour. We are in the middle of a national crisis and this is our response. How can grown men reduce themselves to this level of silliness. What has become of this great party of ours.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the Tories are “distracting from their chaotic leadership and lack of mandate with bad policies and even worse jokes”.

“The problems facing this country are serious and a competent government would be acting not distracting,” the Labour MP added.

Some also thought the party had misunderstood how KFC works by claiming “we’ve found an even bigger chicken than you”.

“They think KFC is a chicken,” tweeted @Zafarcakes.

KFC appeared to distance itself from the advert by referencing talk radio station LBC, well known for its political discussion.

“This is KFC not LBC don’t @ me,” the company’s UK account tweeted.

Inspiration from Mr Johnson’s chicken jibe was also taken by The Sun earlier this week.

The Sun edited an image of Mr Corbyn’s face onto a bird for their front page on Thursday, accompanied by the headline: “Is THIS the most dangerous chicken in Britain.”