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Friday 20 September 2019

John Cleese sparks online backlash with London ‘not really English city’ claim

The Monty Python star said his opinion had been confirmed by others.

John Cleese has stirred controversy with a post about London on Twitter (Conor McCabe/PA)
John Cleese has stirred controversy with a post about London on Twitter (Conor McCabe/PA)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

John Cleese has sparked an online backlash with comments suggesting that London is “not really an English city”.

The star of Fawlty Towers and the comic creations of Monty Python ventured his opinions on Twitter and provoked a heated reaction.

John Cleese’s tweet caused a furious reaction from some (PA)

Cleese wrote to his 5.6 million followers that friends had confirmed his previous opinion that London was no longer English, and noted the city’s strong pro-Remain stance in the Brexit referendum.

His Twitter post drew a strong reaction from users condemning his comments, and questioning what it meant for a city to be English.

Cleese tweeted: “Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more.

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

“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.”

Author Caitlin Moran was among the people commenting on his post, writing in response to his tweet: “John Cleese is in the process of moving to Nevis, in the Caribbean. I hope there’s a (sic) old Nevisian comedian ready to moan about how Charlestown won’t ‘really be a Nevisian town any more.’ Goddamn immigrants.”

Sherlock star Amanda Abbington tweeted: “What’s happened to John Cleese…?”

TV presenter Rick Edwards wrote: “Just when you think you can’t love John Cleese any more!! It turns out you can’t.

The official Leave.EU account praised Cleese, writing: “Bravo to British comedy legend and Brexiteer @JohnCleese for speaking up about the state of London The liberal luvvies on Twitter are in meltdown over his refusal to apologise for telling the truth!”.

Representatives of Cleese have been contacted for comment on the online backlash.

PA Media

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