John Cleese has claimed that London ‘isn’t really an English city any more’ – after moving to live in the Caribbean.
The Monty Python star has doubled down on views he aired in 2011, when he claimed multiculturalism has watered down the English-ness of the capital, claiming that ‘virtually all’ of his friends agreed with him.
The 79-year-old, who supported the Leave campaign in the 2016 European Union referendum, 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.’
However, the majority of the responses to John’s tweet weren’t exactly on board:
One person replied: ‘Michael Palin hasn’t ruined something yet has he, do we still have Michael’, while another wrote: ‘You hired a Spanish man to work at your hotel, hypocrite.’
Another person tweeted: ‘You’ve gone a bit Morrissey here, John’, while a particularly touching reply read: ‘London is an amazing city, and it’s packed-full of people from all over the world, so perhaps that amazingness is a result of that same multiculturalism? Anyway, to me London seems very English, and I only wish that more of England was as English as London – open, fun, diverse.’
Others reminded the Fawlty Towers actor that he doesn’t even live in London, having moved to Nevis in the Caribbean last year, calling life on the island ‘safe and beautiful’.
Back in 2011, John aired his views on London culture on the Australian show 7.30, saying: ‘I’m not sure what’s going on in Britain. Or, let me say this – I don’t know what’s going on in London, because London is no longer an English city.
‘That’s how we got the Olympics. They said we were the most cosmopolitan city on Earth. But it doesn’t feel English.’
The Life Of Brian star, who was a long-time supporter of the Liberal Democrats, continued: ‘I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King’s Road and say, “Where are all the English people?”
‘I mean, I love having different cultures around. But when the parent culture kind of dissipates, you’re left thinking, “Well, what’s going on?”‘
London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, with 300 languages spoken in the capital.
According to the 2011 census, 37% of the population were born outside the UK, including 24.5% born outside of Europe, although 44..9% identified as white British.
Across the 33 boroughs in London, 59.9%, or 2.26 million people, voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, with some areas voting over 70% to remain.
Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Sutton, Havering and Hillingdon were the only areas to support Brexit.
Following Brexit, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched the London Is Open campaign to celebrate the multiculturalism of the city.
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