MONTY Python star John Cleese has sparked controversy after claiming London “is not an English city anymore”.
The comic, 79, was echoing comments he made nearly a decade ago that also left critics fuming.
Today’s divisive tweet read: “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”.
‘IGNORANT AND DOG-WHISTLY’
His divisive words left many social media users baffled about his definition of one of the most diverse cities in the world.
Times journalist David Aaronovitch corrected him, saying: “London has long been a British city, John.
“Which you might expect, what with it being the capital.”
Comedy writer James Felton also aped the veteran comedian, responding on Twitter: “Some years ago I said something a bit ignorant and dog-whistly.
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
John Cleese in a Tweet
“I hang out with people who are also a bit ignorant and dog-whistly. So it must be correct… “Whilst I’m at it, here’s another example of confirmation bias for you.”
While comedian Dom Joly was among those blasting the “racist” and “hypocritical” claims.
However, some social media users took to the defence of Cleese, who left the UK for the Caribbean last year blaming the “awful quality” of the Brexit debate.
Twitter user Sweetest Dreams Escape wrote: “As a black Briton who’s proud to serve my nation and defend free speech, why is he being racist? “NOTHING HE’S SAID IS RACIST! “And he has as much right to say this as people have the right to extol the virtues of multicultural London, which HAS lost its identity”.
The Fawlty Towers star’s comments came eight years after telling Australian TV he “didn’t know what’s going on in Britain”.
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He said at the time: “Let me say this, I don’t know what’s going on in London because London is no longer an English city.
“I love having different cultures around but when the parent culture kind of
dissipates, you’re left thinking, ‘What’s going on?’”
London is one of the most diverse cities in the world. More than 300 languages are spoken and non-white ethnic groups making up more than 40 per cent of the city’s population.
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