“The Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proud to be the English capital, a European city and a global center,” London Mayor Sadiq Kahn said in response.
The Islamic Labor politician expressed his anger at the tweet from Cleese. The comedian, who became famous as a member of Monty Python, wrote: “Several years ago I thought that London was no longer an English city. Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation. So there must be some truth in it … I also note that London was the British city that voted most strongly to stay in the EU.”
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
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) May 29, 2019
Twitter users then accused him of racism, but his words were not racist but “cultural” he said. “I suppose I must apologize for my love for my English education.” He said it was “legitimate” to prefer one culture to another.
“I think it’s legitimate to prefer one culture to another. For example, I prefer cultures that do not tolerate female genital mutilation. Will this will be considered racist by all those who hover, eagerly hoping that someone will offend them – on someone else’s behalf, naturally.”
Comedian Dom Joly criticised Cleese: “He’s clearly a really smart funny man but it is basically a very racist tweet.”
As early as 2011, Cleese said on Australian television, according to the Guardian, “I’m not sure what’s going on in the UK. Let me just say that, I do not know what’s going on in London, because London is no longer an English city, and that’s why it got the Olympics. They said, ‘We are the most cosmopolitan city in the world’, but it does not feel English anymore.”
The official Leave.EU account praised Cleese’s comments on social media. “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!”