The coverage – which featured footage of the crowd waving of EU flags during the traditional performances of patriotic anthems Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory – has been blasted as “disgraceful” and “nauseatingly woke”. It so angered one former Tory MP that he is demanding a BBC investigation into the incident.
A van load of EU flags were handed out to concertgoers by a group of remainers outside the Royal Albert Hall.On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the EU Flags Team said the flags had been given out “in support of Brexit impacted musicians”.
A recent survey found that almost a third of musicians claim their earnings had been affected by Brexit. Singer Katie Melua has claimed the cost of touring the EU has risen by up to 30% since the UK left the bloc.
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However, the display has infuriated some patriotic Brexiteers. On X, former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor fumed: “BBC must investigate how so many EU flags were waved & on display at The Last Night of the Proms.
“Disgraceful & misguided BBC messing up a British tradition; a political gesture which would make Sir Henry Wood turn in his grave. Utterly vulgar & wrong. Rule Britannia, not Rule EU!”
In a later tweet, he wrote: “The BBC is passing the buck by blaming the Royal Albert Hall. The BBC organised the event. The BBC televised the event. The BBC is ultimately responsible for allowing it to become a prime-time political broadcast on behalf of the EU.”
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Also on X, Andy Knight – whose bio describes himself as “just the sort of person who is hated by the BBC” – said: “It has been the plan of the BBC for many years to make Last Night of the Proms so nauseatingly woke that those who would want to watch it boycott it in disgust, leading to the event’s abolition. Only Union Flags and the national flags of the four UK nations should be allowed.”
It comes just days after Conservative peer Lord Frost questioned whether “high culture is safe” in the hands of the BBC, claiming the broadcaster did not like the Proms “at all”‘
However, the BBC has defended its broadcast. When asked if it had taken steps to minimise the coverage of the flags, a spokesperson told one national newspaper: “Audiences choose to bring their own flags and the Royal Albert Hall specifies size limitations within guidelines for safety reasons.”
Talk TV editor Isabel Oakeshott tweeted: “The Last Night of the Proms appears to be a seething mass of Remainers. Can’t wait for Rule Britannia.” When the EU flags continued to enthusiastically waved through the patriotic anthem, She tweeted: “Britons never ever shall be slaves.….there’s no going back, Remainers!”
And Matron Jan raged: “What the **** is it with EU flags at Last Night of the Proms for Land of Hope and Glory. It’s a BRITISH institution. That many believe should be our National Anthem. Absolute disgrace.”
In a string of tweets, Nile Gardiner, a Foreign policy analyst and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, wrote: “Sad pro-EU Remainers hijacking Rule Britannia, using the BBC Last Night of the Proms for a political stunt. They have no idea what the words even mean. “Rule Britannia” is the antithesis of everything the EU stands for.
“Ironic to see some of the audience at The Last Night of the Proms waving EU flags while singing Rule Britannia. Rule Britannia represents freedom, sovereignty and self-determination, all absent in the EU. Thank God for Brexit.”
“A pathetic pro-EU stunt. The bitter Remainers still can’t get over the fact that 17.4 million Britons voted to leave the EU in 2016 in one of the biggest events in British history. They are living in the past and still kowtow to their masters in Brussels.”
However, the stunt has delighted some remainers. Nick Tyrone tweeted: “If a noticeable number of people wave EU flags on the last night of the proms, it might possibly indicate a reasonable and growing support amongst the British people for rejoining the European Union – and Brexiters will have to get used to that.”
And Gavin Marshall said: “Getting ****loads of EU flags into Royal Albert Hall for Last Night of the Proms is the best marketing activation of the decade. Gongs all round for all concerned.”
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