John Cleese sparks debate after claim London not an ‘English city’

John Cleese sparks debate after claim London not an ‘English city’

The Monty Python actor has claimed that London is no longer an 'English city'

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

John Cleese has caused a stir online after claiming London is no longer an “English city".

In a Twitter post, the Monty Python star said his observation had been confirmed by “virtually” all his friends.

"Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more," he wrote.

"Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation."

He continued: “So there must be some truth in it...I note also that London was the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU.”

Responding to the tweet, London mayor Sadiq Khan said the capital's diversity was its "greatest strength".

"These comments make John Cleese sound like he's in character as Basil Fawlty," he wrote.

"Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub."



Writer Caitlin Moran dismissed the actor’s comments before joking: "John Cleese is in the process of moving to Nevis, in the Caribbean. I hope there's a old Nevisian comedian ready to moan about how Charlestown won't 'really be a Nevisian town any more.' Goddamn immigrants."

Author Will Black criticised Cleese, describing him as “just being himself…when playing all those pompous out of touch Monty Python sketch characters”.

And comedy writer James Felton added: "Hi I'm John Cleese. Today I'll be complaining there are too many immigrants in London from my home where I live in the Caribbean."

However, other Twitter users came to the defence of the Monty Python actor saying he was simply making “an observation”.

Twitter user @smartie_chris rejected the criticism directed at the actor saying he did not “know what people were getting upset about”.

And the Leave.EU campaign also praised Mr Cleese for “speaking up about the state of London”.

Writing on its official Twitter page, it added: "The liberal luvvies on Twitter are in meltdown over his refusal to apologise for telling the truth!"

Cleese first made the claim about the capital city in 2011, during an interview on Australian TV.

He said: "I'm not sure what's going on in Britain. Let me say this, I don't know what's going on in London because London is no longer an English city and that's how they got the Olympics.

"They said 'we're the most cosmopolitan city on Earth' but it doesn't feel English."

He added: "I love having different cultures around but when the parent culture kind of dissipates you're left thinking 'well, what's going on?'"

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