UK & World News
Olympics: MP Blasted Over Opening Ceremony Tweets
London Mayor Boris Johnson has hit out at suggestions by a Tory MP that the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was too left-wing.
Mr Johnson described the event in the Olympic Stadium in Stratford as "stupefying" and a triumph for Great Britain.
He said: "It wasn't global 'Brito-pap'. It wasn't just Big Ben and Beefeaters and red buses and stuff. It was actually the truth about this country in the last two or three hundred years told in a big, dynamic way.
"People say it was all leftie stuff. That is nonsense. I'm a Conservative and I had hot tears of patriotic pride from the beginning. I was blubbing like Andy Murray."
Mr Johnson was speaking after MP Aidan Burley insisted he had been misunderstood when he denounced the ceremony as "leftie multicultural crap" on Twitter.
One post from him read: "The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen - more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?"
Shortly afterwards he added: "Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multicultural crap. Bring back red arrows (sic), Shakespeare and the Stones!"
The remarks provoked a storm of protest on Twitter with fellow Conservative MP Gavin Barwell among the critics.
"@AidanBurleyMP with respect, us Londoners are rather proud of the diversity of our city #nothingleftwingaboutit," he wrote.
Downing Street moved quickly to distance itself from Mr Burley, with a senior source saying simply: "We do not agree with him."
Mr Johnson said the opening ceremony was a triumph for film director Danny Boyle, the Games organisers and all who took part.
"I thought it was stupefying, one of the most amazing events I have ever seen," he said.
"The big anxiety we had was, could we do something that would rival Beijing. I think we knocked the spots off it."
Mr Johnson added: "The thing I loved was the heavy political stuff. I loved the emergence of the urban proletariat and the rise of the chimneys and the forging of the ring.
"It was a smorgasbord. The comedy was brilliant, the Mr Bean stuff, the Bond stuff."