Labour MP David Lammy tells John Cleese not to 'define Englishness by DNA'

Labour MP David Lammy tells John Cleese not to 'define Englishness by DNA'

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, confronted John Cleese’s recent comments about London not being an "English city" anymore by challenging the comedian "not to define Englishness by DNA".

Speaking to an audience at the Hay Festival, his said: “I had a bit of a row with John Cleese.

My parents came to London because Britain came to them. They love this country. Made a contribution to the country. And I challenge John Cleese: Let’s not define Englishness by solely your DNA.

Let us define it by shared values in the country that we all live in. let’s have a civic nationalism not an ethnic nationalism.

A few days ago, the British actor made people angry after he tweeted about London, saying it's not "English" anymore: “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.

Lammy is the latest in a long line of people to criticise the comedian for his comments, including London mayor Sadiq Khan, and Cleese responded to them all by saying he wasn't racist but a "culturalist".

His comments build on a tweet he sent Cleese.

And many people agreed with Lammy.

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