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29th May 2019

John Cleese faces backlash after saying London ‘isn’t an English city any more’

Wil Jones

“Some years ago I opinioned that London was not really an English city any more”

Monty Python star and comedy legend John Cleese has caused controversy after saying that London is “not really an English city any more”.

In a tweet, Cleese repeated an assertion that he says he made in the past, and stated that most of his friends from abroad agreed with it.

He went on to reference that London had overwhelmingly voted to stay in the European Union.

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.

Cleese’s comments have provoked scorn on social media, particularly from those who have pointed out that the comedian announced last year that he was moving to the Carribean.

In a 2018 interview with BBC Newsnight, he said he was leaving the UK due to the ‚Äúlying and triviality‚ÄĚ of British newspapers.

“I just thought to myself: ‘Right I‚Äôll just give up and try somewhere else.'” he told presenter Emily Mathis.

In particular, he criticised the coverage of the 2016 EU referendum.

“There were dreadful lies on the right about all the money that would come into the National Health Service.”

“Very few people have any idea of what‚Äôs actually going to happen. Why‚Äôs everyone so passionate when they can‚Äôt possibly know what the outcome is?”

In 1999 John Cleese turned down a life peerage, and has been a vocal supporter of press and electoral reform. He has been a long-term supporter of the Liberal Democrats.