John Cleese has defended his comments after claiming London ‘isn’t really an English city any more’, branding his views ‘culturalist’ and not racist.
The 79-year-old actor, who supported the Leave campaign in the 2016 European Union referendum, previously claimed multiculturalism had watered down the English-ness of the UK capital.
He recently reaffirmed his stance in a tweet, which sparked criticism from some who deemed the comments ‘racist’.
Cleese has since responded by comparing London to life to Nevis in the Caribbean where the actor lives, writing: ‘It might interest those people who seem to think my remarks about London are racist as opposed to culturalist, to consider that what I like about spending time in Nevis.
‘Nevis has excellent race relations, a very well educated population, no sign of political correctness, no sign of Rupert Murdoch, conscientious lawyers, a relaxed and humorous life style, a deep love of cricket, and a complete lack of knife crime. And, of course, wonderful weather.
‘And the icing on the cake is that Nevis is not the world centre for Russian dirty money laundering.’
In his original tweet, Cleese wrote: ‘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.’
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.
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